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Full text of "Proceedings of the Librarians' Convention held in New York City, September 15, 16, and 17. 1853"

'/ 





THE LIBRARY 

OF 

THE UNIVERSITY 
OF CALIFORNIA 

LOS ANGELES 

GIFT OF 

H. R. Archer 



LIBRARIANS' CONVENTION 



PROCEEDINGS 

OF THE 

LIBRARIANS' CONVENTION 

HELD IN 

NEW YORK CITY 

SEPTEMBER 15, 16, AND 17 

1853 




REPRINTED FOR 

WILLIAM H. MURRAY 

1915 



THK TORCH PRESS 

CEDAR RAPIDS 

IOWA 



PROCEEDINGS OF THE LIBRA- 
RIANS' CONVENTION 



CALL 

THE undersigned, believing that the knowledge of Books, 
and the foundation and management of collections of them 
for public use, may be promoted by consultation and con- 
cert among librarians and others interested in bibliography, 
respectfully invite such persons to meet IN CONVENTION AT 
NEW YORK, ON THURSDAY, THE FIFTEENTH DAY OF SEPTEM- 
BER, for the purpose of conferring together upon the means 
of advancing the prosperity and usefulness of public li- 
braries, and for the suggestion and discussion of topics of 
importance to book collectors and readers. 

MAY, 1853. 

CHAS. FOLSOM, Boston Athenaeum. 

C. C. JEWETT, Smithsonian Institution. 

T. "W. HARRIS, Harvard College. 

PHILIP J. FORBES, Society Library, New York. 

SAMUEL F. HAVEN, American Antiquarian Society. 

BARNAS SEARS, Massachusetts State Library. 

E. C. HERRICK, Yale College. 

JOSHUA LEAVITT, American Geographical and Statistical 
Society. 

EDWARD E. HALE, Worcester, Massachusetts. 

HENRY BARNARD, Hartford, Connecticut. 

J. W. CHAMBERS, American Institute. 



53015^ 



6 LIBEAEIANS ' CONVENTION 1853 

WM. E. JILLSON, Providence, Rhode Island. 

A. J. UPSON, Hamilton College. 

JAMES GREEN, Baltimore Mercantile Library. 
"W. A. JONES, Columbia College. 

B. A. GUILD, Brown University. 

G. H. MOORE, New York Historical Society. 

"W. F. POOLE, Boston Mercantile Library. 

N. B. SHURTLEFP, American Academy of Arts and 

Sciences. 

S. HASTINGS GRANT, New York Mercantile Library. 
L. M. BOLTWOOD, Amherst College. 
WM. P. CURTIS, St. Louis Mercantile Library. 
R. H. STEPHENSON, Cincinnati Mercantile Library. 
H. M. BAILEY, Hartford Young Men's Institute. 
GEO. E. DAY, Lane Seminary. 
LLOYD P. SMITH, Philadelphia Library Company. 

PROCEEDINGS 

In accordance with the foregoing call, the following 
persons assembled at the rooms of the University of the 
City of New York, on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, 
September 15, 16, and 17, 1853. It will be seen that more 
than eighty gentlemen were present, the representatives of 
forty-seven different libraries. These institutions are lo- 
cated in thirteen different States, and contain collectively 
over six hundred thousand volumes. 

DELEGATES 
District of Columbia 

Prof. C. C. JEWETT, Librarian of the Smithsonian Institu- 
tion, Washington. 

Maine 

JAMES MERRILL, Librarian of the Athenaeum, Portland. 
Prof. ROSWELL D. HITCHCOCK, Bowdoin College, Brunswick. 



LIBKARIANS' CONVENTION 1853 7 

Massachusetts 

CHARLES FOLSOM, Esq., Librarian of the Athenaeum, Boston. 

WM. F. POOLE, Librarian of the Mercantile Library Asso- 
ciation, Boston. 

S. F. HAVEN, Librarian of the American Antiquarian So- 
ciety, Worcester. 

KEV. EDW. E. HALE, "Worcester. 

Ehode Island 

R. A. GUILD, Librarian of Brown University, Providence. 
THOMAS HALE WILLIAMS, Librarian of the Athenaeum, 

Providence. 

ALBERT J. JONES, Director of the Athenaeum, Providence. 
CHAS. W. JENCKS, Librarian of the Mechanics' Library, 

Providence. 
CHAS. AKERMAN, Director of the Mechanics' Library, 

Providence. 
S. BALLOU, Carrington Library, Rhode Island. 

Connecticut 

Hon. HENRY BARNARD, Superintendent of Common Schools, 

Hartford. 
HENRY M. BAILEY, Librarian of the Young Men's Institute, 

Hartford. 
DANIEL C. GILMAN, Delegate from the Linonian Library 

of Yale College, New Haven. 
Rev. JAS. T. DICKINSON, Durham. 

New York City and State 

PHILIP J. FORBES, Esq., Librarian of the New York So- 
ciety Library, New York. 

GEO. H. MOORE, Librarian of the New York Historical So- 
ciety, New York. 

Prof. HENRY B. SMITH, D. D., Librarian of the Union 
Theological Seminary, New York. 



8 LIBEAEIANS ' CONVENTION 1853 

J. L. LYONS, Assistant Librarian of the Union Theological 
Seminary, New York. 

WM. CURTIS NOTES, Esq., Librarian of the New York Law 
Institute, New York. 

WM. A. JONES, Librarian of Columbia College, New York. 

JOHN L. VANDERVOORT, M. D., Librarian of the New York 
Hospital, New York. 

Prof. HOWARD CROSBY, Librarian of the University of the 
City of New York. 

JAMES HENRY, Jr., Actuary of the Mechanics' Institute, 
New York. 

WM. OLAND BOURNE, Assistant Librarian of the Free Acad- 
emy, New York. 

E. A. HARRIS, Librarian of the American Institute, New 
York. 

S. HASTINGS GRANT, Librarian of the Mercantile Library, 
New York. 

WM VAN NORDLIN, Representative of the Apprentices' Li- 
brary, New York. 

HENRY GITTERMAN, Assistant Librarian of the Hebrew 
Young Men's Literary Association, New York. 

J. DISTURNELL, Member of the American Geographical and 
Statistical Society, New York. 

Rev. ISAAC FERRIS, D. D., Chancellor of the University of 
the City of New York. 

Rev. THOMAS DE WITT, D. D., Vice President of the New 
York Historical Society, New York. 

DANIEL W. FISKE, Assistant Librarian of the Astor Library, 
New York. 

MAUNSELL B. FIELD, Esq., Recording Secretary of the New 
York Historical Society, New York. 

EDWIN WILLIAMS, of the Library Committee of the Amer- 
ican Institute, New York. 



LIBBARIANS' CONVENTION 1853 9 

Rev. GORHAM D. ABBOTT, Principal of the Spingler Insti- 
tute, New York. 

Prof. BENJ. N. MARTIN, University of the City of New 
York. 

Prof. JOHN TORREY, of the College of Physicians and Sur- 
geons, New York. 

Rev. SAMUEL OSGOOD, Delegate from the Providence Athen- 
aeum. 

WM. C. GILMAN, Esq., New York. 

Prof. GEORGE "W. GREENE, New York. 

Rev. E. H. CHAPIN, New York. 

JOHN BANVARD, New York. 

CHARLES B. NORTON, Literary Gazette, New York. 

AUG. MAVERICK, New York Times. 

J. W. KENNADY, New York Express. 

J. S. THAYER, Evening Post, New York. 

JOHN J. SCHROEDER, New York. 

EDWIN H. GRANT, M. D., New York. 

S. S. PURPLE, M. D., New York. 

Mr. PERRY, of the Astor Library, New York. 

ROBERT DODGE, New York. 

AUG. K. GARDNER, M. D., New York. 

THOMAS J. SAWYER, New York. 

JOSEPH F. NOYES, Librarian of the Athenaeum, Brooklyn. 

GEO. H. STEBBINS, Principal of Public Schools, Brooklyn. 

HAROLD HINDE, Brooklyn. 

Capt. HENRY COPPEE, Librarian of the U. S. Military Acad- 
emy, "West Point. 

Prof. A. J. UPSON, Librarian of Hamilton College, Clinton. 

H. P. FILER, Librarian of the Young Men's Association, 
Troy. 

W. T. WILLARD, Librarian of the Lyceum of Natural His- 
tory, Troy. 



10 LIBBAEIANS ' CONVENTION 1853 

ELIAS S. HAWLEY, Representative of the Young Men's As- 
sociation, Buffalo. 
* C. H. RAYMOND, Buffalo. 

New Jersey 

Prof. G. M. GIGER, Librarian of the College of New Jersey. 
Princeton. 

Prof. W. HENRY GREEN, Librarian of the Theological Sem- 
inary, Princeton. 

F. W. RICORD, Librarian of the Newark Library Associa- 
tion, Newark. 

Rev. C. R. V. ROMONDT, Librarian of Rutgers College, New 
Brunswick. 

S. G. DEETH, New Brunswick and Washington, D. C. 

WM. COOPER, Hoboken. 

Pennsylvania 

LLOYD P. SMITH, Librarian of the Library Company, Phil- 
adelphia. 

JOHN WM. WALLACE, Librarian of the Law Association, 
Philadelphia. 

Maryland 

JAMES GREEN, Librarian of the Mercantile Library Associa- 
tion, Baltimore. 

A. C. RHODES, Vice President of the Mercantile Library 
Association, Baltimore. 

Ohio 

ELIJAH HAYWARD, Librarian of the State Library, Colum- 
bus. 

R. H. STEPHENSON, Librarian of the Mercantile Library 
Association, Cincinnati. 

Missouri 

W. P. CURTIS, Librarian of the Mercantile Library Asso- 
ciation, St. Louis. 
FREDERICK VINTON, St. Louis. 



LIBBARIANS' CONVENTION 1853 11 

Louisiana 

JOHN L. SHEAFE, Librarian of the State Library of Louis- 
iana, New Orleans. 
B. F. FRENCH, Representative of the Fisk Free Library, 

New Orleans. 

California 

EDWARD E. DUNBAR, Delegate from the Mercantile Library 
Association, San Francisco. 

Apologies were also presented from the following gen- 
tlemen, unable to be present: 

Dr. Cogswell, of the Astor Library; Prof. Beck, of the 
New York State Library; Dr. Harris, of Harvard College 
Libary ; E. C. Herrick, Esq., of Yale College Library ; Dr. 
Sears, of the Massachusetts State Library; George Liver- 
more, Esq., of Boston; Prof. Johnson, of the New York 
State Agricultural Society; Rev. Adolph Frost, of the 
Burlington (N. J.) College Library, and Wm. MacDermott, 
of Norristown Library, Pennsylvania. 

OFFICERS 

The Convention was called to order by Charles Folsom, 
Esq., of the Boston Athenaeum, and, upon motion, the fol- 
lowing persons were chosen officers: 

President Prof. CHAS. C. JEWETT, Smithsonian Insti- 
tution, Washington, D. C. 

Secretary S. HASTINGS GRANT, Mercantile Library As- 
sociation, New York City. 

Business Committee CHARLES FOLSOM, Athenaeum, Bos- 
ton ; PHILIP J. FORBES, Society Library, New York ; J. W. 
WALLACE, Law Association, Philadelphia; R. A. GUILD, 
Brown University, Providence; R. H. STEPHENSON, Mer- 
cantile Library Association, Cincinnati ; with the President 
and Secretary of the Convention. 



12 LIBBAEIANS ' CONVENTION 1853 

OPENING ADDRESS OF THE PRESIDENT 

Prof. JEWETT, upon taking the chair, acknowledged the 
honor conferred upon him, and proceeded to remark as 
follows : 

It must be highly gratifying to those who signed the call for this 
Convention to notice the response which it, this morning, receives. To 
every one who knows the nature of a librarian's duties, the details 
which consume his days, and render absence from his post impossible, 
except at the cost of severe labor on his return, it must be manifest 
that we have met at considerable personal sacrifice. We obey some 
strong and wide-felt impulse in incurring the expense and the trouble 
of this gathering. 

The call for this Convention was not the result of a correspondence 
among librarians, nor was it the subject of long and careful consider- 
ation. It was, rather, a spontaneous movement. It was first, I think, 
suggested a year ago, or more, in the Literary Gazette. Librarians 
spoke to each other on the matter, when they happened to meet. 
Every one was pleased with the idea. At length a formal call was 
written, and signed by a few who happened to meet the gentlemen 
having charge of the paper. 

In compliance with such an invitation, we have assembled this 
morning. It is not, so far as I know, proposed to accomplish any end 
by this Convention, beyond the general one expressed in the call, of 
"conferring together upon the means of advancing the prosperity 
and usefulness of public libraries," and of seeking mutual instruction 
and encouragement in the discharge of the quiet and unostentatious 
labors of our vocation for which each, at his separate post, finds per- 
haps but little sympathy for which each, when at home, must derive 
enthusiasm only from within himself, and from the silent masters of 
his daily communion. 

We have no peculiar views to present, no particular set of measures 
to propose. We meet without preparation. No order of business has 
been arranged. Our proceedings must be spontaneous as our meeting. 
It is not important that they be systematic and formal. We come to 
receive and -to act upon suggestions. We are not here for stately de- 
bate, for conspicuous action, much less for an exhibition of ourselves. 
These things are foreign from our vocation, and not congenial with 
our tastes. We meet for familiar, informal, conversational conference, 
where each may take his part, and no one be prevented from contrib- 



LIBEAEIANS' CONVENTION 1853 13 

uting his share to the profits of the enterprise, by his inexperience in 
public speaking, or his inability to make elaborate preparation. Those 
gentlemen connected with the public press who honor us with their 
presence, must have been attracted hither by a scholarlike sympathy 
with our quiet pursuits, which lead them to appreciate our feelings 
in this respect, in the reports which they may give. 

It is indeed to be hoped that our meeting will have its influence 
upon the public mind. If our discussions are natural and unrestrained, 
suggested and shaped by right views of the position which we hold, or 
ought to hold, in general society and in the republic of letters; if they 
present to ourselves and to others the difficulties with which we have 
to contend; if they elicit thought and information upon the collecting 
of books for private culture, for public enlightenment, and for learned 
investigations, and upon the best means of promoting the increase and 
efficiency of such collections ; if we manifest here, while we talk of 
books as material objects, and of books in their internal significance, 
that respectful, dignified, and noiseless spirit inspired by the associa- 
tions in the midst of which we live, the public will certainly feel and 
acknowledge the beneficial influence of our meeting, and will desire 
an official report of the progress and results of our deliberations. 

The occasion is one of peculiar interest. This is the first conven- 
tion of the kind, not only in this country, but, so far as I know, in the 
world. 

There have, indeed, been bibliographical associations, but they have 
been, for the most part, composed of dilettante, and not of practical 
librarians and lovers of books. The gratification of a passion for 
rare and curious books has generally been their object. Books were 
too often valuable to them, only as they were worthless to the rest 
of the world. Each member glorying in the possession of a unique 
copy of some old work, was required to reprint it, with only copies 
enough to give one to each member. One society has played the part 
of bibliotaph by requiring that if a member dies, and his copy of one 
of these reprints is to be sold by auction, it shall be bought by the 
Society at any price it may be necessary to pay. 

These associations have had their origin in a different state of 
society from ours. We can at present have but little sympathy with 
their principal design. We have none whatever with their selfishness. 

We would not be supposed to chide the passion for book rarities, 
where it exhibits itself simply in collecting and preserving what is 
curious and costly, and not in its destruction or concealment. Why 



14 LIBEABIANS ' CONVENTION 1853 

should not a rich man spend his money in this way, as well as in a 
thousand others which are harmless? We may go further, and assert 
that a collection of rare books can scarcely be formed, without sub- 
serving the interests of learning, whether made with such a design or 
not. The public are not unfrequently surprised by results anticipated 
only by the collector. 

I may allude, in this connection, to a distinguished gentleman in 
our own country, who made, at great expense, a collection of early- 
printed books, without any regard to the subjects of which they 
treated, the languages in which they were written, or their worth as 
literary productions. By those who did not know his purpose, he was 
called a bibliomaniac. He had however, a definite object in view, 
which was, to investigate the early history of typography by its monu- 
ments. Books which he never cared to read, were full of instruction 
to him. He deduced from the close examination of them, many facts 
new to the bibliographical world, and showed the unsoundness of 
many generally received theories. For example, he satisfied himself 
that books in the early days of typography, were never printed from 
block letters, that is, from separate types of wood, or of wood faced 
with metal. He proved, too, that many of these books were printed 
one page at a time. It had been supposed that the early printers 
must have had immense fonts of type. In many folios the sheets are 
quired, and it was very naturally supposed that the type of every 
page of the quire must have been set up before any was printed off. 
But he traced a broken letter from page to page, and he found such 
irregularities of register as could not have occurred, had the two 
pages of the same form been printed at the same time; and he thus 
demonstrated that these books were printed page by page, and that 
consequently only a very small font of type was necessary. 

Now, these are new, interesting, and valuable results; and they are 
only specimens which occur to me at the moment, of deductions from 
the examination of books, which an ordinary observer would say it 
was infatuation to collect. 

But our object, at present, is of a more manifestly and eminently 
practical and utilitarian character. We meet to provide for the dif- 
fusion of a knowledge of good books, and for enlarging the means of 
public access to them. Our wishes are for the public, not for our- 
selves. 

In our assembling to-day we obey the impulses of our peculiar civili- 
zation. We are pre-eminently a reading people. In Prussia the whole 



LIBRARIANS' CONVENTION 1853 15 

population are taught to read; but a distinguished citizen of that 
country, who had traveled in the United States, once expressed to me 
the difference between his own countrymen and the Americans, by 
saying : ' ' Our people can read, your people do read. ' ' The general- 
ly diffused love of reading, for the sake of gaining information, has 
led to the establishment of a large number of libraries, so that, in the 
number and general diffusion of small collections of books, we are 
richer already than any other country in the world. Beading creates 
the desire to read more, and select reading increases the desire to read 
profitably. Hence, in every village the questions are asked: "How 
shall we get good books? How shall we keep them? How shall we 
use them?" To consult on the best replies to questions like these, 
is one of the objects of our assembling to-day. 

Another demand of our peculiar civilization is, for the means of 
thorough and independent investigation. We wish to own no men 
as masters. We intend to re-examine all history from our own Amer- 
ican standpoint, and we must re-write it, where we find its facts have 
been tortured to teach the doctrines of injustice and oppression. The 
mental activity of this country is surveying every field of research, 
literary, scientific, aesthetic, industrial, and philanthropic. It requires 
to know what others have done and thought, that it may itself press 
farther outward. This country, therefore, demands the means of the 
amplest research, and this demand must and will be met. 

These views have impressed themselves deeply upon our minds, as 
we are the appointed custodians of the literary treasures of the coun- 
try, and have led us to desire mutual assistance and concentration of 
efforts in providing for these intellectual necessities of our American 
life. For our present meeting it has been proposed to adopt the 
simplest form of organization; to appoint, besides a president and a 
secretary, a business committee to receive suggestions and proposi- 
tions, and arrange the order of proceedings for each day's session. 
I unite most cordially in the hope which I have heard expressed this 
morning, that this Convention may be the precursor of a permanent 
and highly useful association. 

COURTESIES 

Invitations were received and accepted to visit the follow- 
ing libraries: Astor, Society, Historical, Union, Theologi- 
cal, Columbia College, Mercantile, American Institute, Me- 



16 LIBRARIANS ' CONVENTION 1853 

chanics' Institute, and Free Academy; also from the direc- 
tors of the Crystal Palace, through T. Sedgwick, Esq., to 
visit the Exhibition of Industry; from Mr. Bryan, to the 
Gallery of Christian Art ; from Dr. Abbott, to the Museum 
of Egyptian Antiquities; and from Mr. Banvard, to his 
Panorama of the Holy Land. 

An invitation to a social gathering at the Kemble House 
was also presented by members of the Convention from the 
city of New York. 

REPORTS FROM LIBRARIES 

Early in the Convention, reports were presented by the 
different librarians present, in regard to the condition of 
the institutions in their charge. These returns have been 
incorporated, in an afterpart of this Register, with recent 
information received from other libraries. 

Among other remarks, the following were made by Capt. 
Coppee, in regard to the Library of the United States Mili- 
tary Academy, at West Point. 
Mr. President and Gentlemen of the Convention: 

The Institution which I have the honor to represent is certainly 
peculiar and unique both sui juris and sui generis in that it is 
under the control of the general government, and that its special 
character is military and scientific. 

You have read the ' ' Medecin malgre lui;" I may truly say that 
when I was appointed Librarian of the Military Academy, I was a 
librarian in spite of myself. The little service I had seen, and the par- 
tial fondness for certain kinds of reading, had given me no knowledge 
of the great progressive science of bibliography, a science nobler in 
its results than simple authorship, in that it classifies and makes 
available at one intelligent glance, masses of matter, rich specimens 
of mental ore, which otherwise would lie hidden and useless to the 
world. 

What, however, was received with reluctance, has been retained with 
pleasure, and pursued with such ardor as the pressure of other duties 
would permit. 



LIBBABIANS' CONVENTION 1853 17 

The library of the Military Academy is sustained and increased by 
an appropriation of $1,000 a year, which I regret to be obliged to say, 
ia found insufficient to keep pace with the valuable publications in our 
special branches. Some years, owing to a spirit of retrenchment in 
Congress, this inadequate sum has been intermitted, and then, in mili- 
tary phrase we ' ' mark time ' ' for a year, which is, in effect, retrograd- 
ing to an alarming degree. "Not to advance," says a good maxim, 
' ' is to fall back : ' ' the individual student and the public library alike 
verify its truth. 

When the appointment of Librarian was conferred upon me, I found 
that, with a rigor at once ill-judged and ill-productive, almost all light 
literature, poetry, fiction and some of those charming modern works, 
which, verily, can only be characterized as lying between the two, a 
delectable land of the heart and the imaginations, had been inter- 
dicted. Since that time, careful additions of standard works of these 
classes have been made; we ventured, sir, upon a set of the Waverly 
Novels, and introduced the Corps of Cadets to the Great Magician 
need I add, with perfect satisfaction to all concerned. 

I have one word to add in favor of a popular direction to our pro- 
ceedings. It is in accordance with the pervading spirit of our govern- 
ment. The people, sir, are the rule; everything else, the exception. 

Let our deliberations, then, not lose sight of this fact. Bare books 
cost great prices, and are read afterwards by few, the scholars, the 
great book-makers for future generations and these should not be 
ngelected; but, first remember, that good current learning and knowl- 
edge, facts and practical science for the million are within the reach 
of small sums, the assessment of which will scarcely be felt by the 
poorest, and the aggregate of which will astonish the people by its 
greatness, and enlighten the world by its influence. 

THE SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION AND ITS PLAN OP CATALOGING 

Mr. Haven, of Worcester, having been called to the Chair, 
an exposition was made in regard to the Smithsonian In- 
stitution at Washington, by Prof. Charles G. Jewett. 

He first presented the following table, which exhibits the 
number of books and other articles added to the library 
of the Smithsonian Institution during the year 1852, with 
the sources from which they were received: 



18 LIBRARIANS' CONVENTION 1853 













00 

bi) 








m ^ 




So 






.2 


HI 


I 


OD 


"o S 





9 


m 
P< 



'35 

3 


P 
2 





B 

i 


3 

i 


PQ Pi 


PH 


1 


S 


3 


p 




5 


P 


THr Pnr/.Vinafl R4.1 Q1 8 1 5fi8 . 319.7 



By Donations 1481 1935 171 10 1698 41 5336 

By Copyright 476 96 26 15 10 692 9 19 1343 



Totals 2598 2949 1765 25 1708 692 9 60 9806 

The extent of the various collections in the library, at the 
end of 1852, is shown by the following table : 



FH S - 

s i i i i i si i 

pq PLI^H s^P ^H 

By Purchase. 3873 957 1568 1335 2 7735 

By Donations. 2657 3872 171 58 1725 30 41 8554 

By Copyright 2304 213 26 24 51 1826 9 86 4539 

Bv DGDOsit 873 . ^ r ^___ ___ . 873 



Totals 9707 5042 1765 1417 1778 1826 39 127 21701 

In answer to various inquiries, Prof. Jewett also stated 
in this connection, that the average number of books an- 
nually received under the copyright law was about 450. 
He presumed that this was not more than one-third of all 
the books copyrighted in the country. The laws regulat- 
ing the deposit were defective. One copy is required to be 
deposited with the District Clerk and by him to be trans- 
mitted to the Department of State at Washington; one 
copy is also required to be deposited in the Library of Con- 
gress, and one in the Library of the Smithsonian Institu- 
tion. A larger number of these books is probably received 
at the Smithsonian Institution than in either of the other 
libraries. The deposit in the State Department is regard- 
ed as burdensome, and the President, in a recent message, 



LIBEARIANS' CONVENTION 1853 19 

recommended that the copyright business be transferred 
from the Department. There ought to be somewhere a 
complete collection of these books, as there is of models of 
machines in the Patent Office. The protection of authors 
and publishers requires that certified copies of their publi- 
cations should be preserved. The public have also a great 
interest in providing that one copy of everything issued 
from the press should be preserved for future reference. 
It was hoped that some modifications of the present laws 
might be made, which would secure both these ends and 
at the same time diminish the present requirements from 
publishers. No provision was made by law for transmitting 
these books to the places of deposit. Consequently many 
of those deposited with the District Clerks never reach the 
State Department. Some of those sent to the Smithsonian 
Institution, cost twenty times what they are worth, being 
sent, by mail, sealed, by publishers who suppose that the 
Institution possesses the franking privilege. 

Prof. JEWETT then proceeded as follows: 

It is well known to you, Mr. Chairman, and to other gentlemen pre- 
sent, that previous to the passage of the act of Congress establishing 
the Smithsonian Institution, various propositions were from time to 
time made to Congress, for the appropriation of the fund bequeathed 
to the United States by James Smithson, "to found at Washington 
an establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge among 
men." One project was to establish an astronomical observatory, 
another to form an agricultural school, another to found a National 
University, another to place the money under the charge of the 
National Institute, &c., &c. No one of the many plans suggested 
met the approval of Congress, until Mr. Choate proposed, and in one 
of his most brilliant and effective speeches advocated, the establish- 
ment of a great central library of reference and research. His bill 
met with general approval and passed the Senate, but was lost among 
other unfinished business in the lower House. At the next session of 
Congress, a select committee was appointed by the House of Eepre- 
sentatives, upon the administration of the Smithsonian trust. The 
members of this committee were divided in opinion. They finally 



20 LIBRARIANS ' CONVENTION 1853 

reported a bill, in which the Library was a subordinate but still an 
important feature. When this bill came up for discussion, Mr. 
Choate's plan was vigorously attacked by one of the leading members 
of the committee; but it found powerful advocates. Mr. Marsh de- 
fended the library in a speech of great learning, ability and elo- 
quence. So strongly did the House approve of Mr. Marsh's views, 
that when he introduced a series of amendments, designed, as he ex- 
pressly stated, "to direct the appropriation entirely to the purpose 
of a library," everything which he proposed was adopted. Congress 
refused to limit the annual appropriation for the Library to 10,000, 
or even to 20,000 dollars. By fixing the maximum of the annual 
appropriation at $25,000, a sum nearly equal to the whole income 
of the fund, Congress unequivocally indicated its intentions, had they 
not been sufficiently clear by other votes. 

The principal management of the Institution was intrusted to a 
Board of Regents, composed of three Senators, three Representatives, 
six citizens of the States, appointed by joint resolution, and three 
members ex-officio, namely, the Vice President of the United States, 
the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and the Mayor of the City 
of Washington. It was soon found that there were two prominent 
parties in the Board not hostile parties, for there is nothing hostile 
in such matters, but parties of different views in reference to the 
objects to be pursued by the Institution. One party was in favor 
of adhering to the library plan, stamped as it was with the approval 
of Congress; the other was in favor of expending the income in 
publications and scientific researches. After considerable discussion, 
it was agreed to divide the income of the Institution permanently 
between the two great departments: that of collections in literature, 
science and art, and that of publications and scientific researches. 

This plan was followed for a time, but at present a large propor- 
tion of the fund is appropriated to other purposes than those of the 
Library. During the last year only about 1,000 dollars were ex- 
pended in the purchase of books, and during the present year a still 
smaller sum will be thus devoted. It has seemed to me my duty to 
state to you these facts, in order that you might understand the 
precise position of the Smithsonian Library, the ground of the ex- 
pectations which had been raised respecting it, and the reasons why 
they had not been realised. I am happy to add to the statement 
which I have made, tha't whatever may have been the feeling with 
reference to the purchase of books, the ' ' active operations ' ' of the 



LIBRARIANS' CONVENTION 1853 21 

library department the collection and publication of statistics of 
libraries, the increase and dissemination of bibliographical knowledge, 
the development and support of the catalogue system, &c., have met 
with cordial approval and support. This must be gratifying to those 
who hear me. I doubt not that whatever may be the policy of the 
Institution with reference to its own collections, it will do all that 
its means will allow for the benefit of other libraries. 

For myself I have always believed and still believe, that a large 
central library of reference and research will be collected at the 
Smithsonian Institution, if not by the erpenditure of the funds of the 
Institution, by other means. The funds of the Institution are very 
small, in comparison with the necessities of literature and science in 
this country, and when we are obliged to choose among worthy ob- 
jects, there will be sure to be different opinions. I feel, however, 
that the formation of the library is a matter sure to be accomplished 
if not immediately, yet before many years. A great central li- 
brary is an important national object; as necessary, to secure the 
literary independence of this people, as was the war of the Revolu- 
tion to secure its political independence. It is an object which, be- 
sides attracting donations and bequests from the rich, may receive 
appropriations from our national treasury. Congress, having the con- 
trol of the treasury of this rich, mighty, and intelligent nation, will 
not, I believe, be backward in making appropriations for this ob- 
ject, whenever it shall be suitably presented to them. Congress may 
be regarded as liberal in matters of science and of learning, when- 
ever they are sure that the money will be honestly and properly 
expended. Many men do not believe this. But look at the action 
for replenishing the desolated hall of the Library of Congress. Most 
persons were of opinion that Congress could not be brought to make 
an appropriation exceeding $30,000 for this purpose; but, when Mr. 
Chandler proposed $75,000, it was readily granted. It would have 
been had he asked $200,000, if they had thought that sum necessary, 
and believed that it would be honestly and judiciously devoted to the 
gathering of a good library. 

There is one other remark I wish to make respecting the position of 
the Smithsonian Institution among the other literary Institutions of 
the country. So far as I know, it possesses claims, desires, no au- 
thority or power of dictation. The principle has been established 
and steadily pursued, of occupying, as far as possible, untenanted 
ground. The position of the Institution at Washington, its connec- 



22 LIBEAEIANS ' CONVENTION 1853 

tion with the government, and its large fund, devoted by its donor 
and by the act of Congress to the promotion of the cause of know- 
ledge, give to it the means of doing much which could not otherwise 
be accomplished for literature and science. In these efforts it needs 
and relies on the cordial support of other institutions, which, I am 
happy to say, it has always received. Whenever it is found that any 
other society or any individual is ready and able to take up and carry 
out its plans, they are immediately relinquished by us. I may here 
give one instance, that of Mr. Norton's Literary Gazette. Mr. Nor- 
ton had formed the plan of publishing the Gazette, without knowing 
that a similar project had been recommended by myself for the bib- 
liographical department of the Smithsonian Bulletin. He proposed 
to give the bibliographical intelligence in connection with adver- 
tisements, which he thought would eventually be profitable to him. 
When he saw what I had written, he came on to Washington, and 
offered to abandon his plan. But we were glad to find that he was 
willing to undertake to accomplish the same purpose which we had 
in view, and gave up the whole to him, offering him such assistance 
as we could render, and encouraging him to believe that the enter- 
prise would prove a profitable one. I am happy to know that this 
expectation has been fully justified; and I hope that the prosperity of 
this useful journal will continually increase. 

In reference to these remarks, Mr. HAYWAED, of Ohio, 
presented the following resolution, which was Adopted 
unanimously : 

Resolved, That the thanks of this Convention be presented to the 
Board of Eegents and Officers of the Smithsonian Institution, for 
their steady and effective efforts for the increase and diffusion of 
knowledge among men, and particularly for the measures which they 
have adopted for the encouragement and promotion of the public 
libraries of our country; and we have great pleasure in looking to 
that institution as the central establishment of the United States for 
the furtherance of all such objects. 

THE SMITHSONIAN CATALOGUE SYSTEM 

Prof. JEWETT then proceeded to remark: 
The catalogue system of which I intend to speak, is one of those 
enterprises which could not have been carried into operation except 



LIBBAKIANS' CONVENTION 1853 23 

under the protection and guidance of the Smithsonian Institution; 
nor can it be successful, unless it meets the hearty approval and co- 
operation of other libraries. I wish, therefore, to present the matter 
fully and explicitly to this Convention. 

Few persons, except librarians, are aware of the nature and extent 
of the difficulties which have been encountered in attempting to 
furnish suitable printed catalogues of large and growing libraries; 
difficulties apparently insurmountable, and menacing a common aban- 
donment of the hope of affording guides, so important, to the literary 
accumulation of the larger libraries of Europe. 

While the catalogue of a large library is passing through the press, 
new books are received, the titles of which it is impossible, in the 
ordinary manner of printing, to incorporate with the body of the 
work. Eecourse must then be had to a supplement. In no other way 
can the acquisitions of the library be made known to the public. If 
the number of supplements be multiplied, as they have been in the 
library of Congress, the student may be obliged to grope his weary 
way through ten catalogues, instead of one, in order to ascertain 
whether the book which he seeks be in the library. He cannot be 
certain, even then, that the book is not in the collection, for it may 
have been received since the last appendix was printed. Supple- 
ments soon become intolerable. The whole catalogue must then be 
re-arranged and re-printed. The expense of this process may be 
borne so long as the library is small, but it soon becomes burdensome, 
and, ere long, insupportable, even to national establishments. 

There is but one course left not to print at all. To this no 
scholar consents, except from necessity. But to this alternative, 
grievous as it is, nearly all the large libraries of Europe have been 
reluctantly driven. 

More than a century has passed, since the printing of the catalogue 
of the Eoyal Library at Paris was commenced. It is not yet finished. 
No one feels in it the interest which he would, if he could hope to 
have its completeness sustained, when once brought up to a given 
date. 

Not one European library, of the first class, has a complete printed 
catalogue, in a single work. The Bodleian Library is not an excep- 
tion. It may be necessary to search six distinct catalogues, in order 
to ascertain whether any specified book was or was not in that col- 
lection, at the close of the year 1847. 

This is, surely, a disheartening state of things. It has been felt 



24 LIBRARIANS ' CONVENTION 1853 

and lamented by every one who has had the care of an increasing 
library. 

As a remedy for this evil, it is proposed to stereotype the titles 
separately, and to preserve the plates or blocks in alphabetical order 
of the titles, so as to be able readily to insert additional titles, in 
their proper places, and then to reprint the whole 'catalogue. By 
these means, the chief cost of republication (that of composition) 
together with the trouble of revision and correction of the press, 
would, except for new titles, be avoided. Some of the great diffi- 
culties which have so long oppressed and discouraged librarians, and 
involved libraries in enormous expenses, may thus be overcome. 

The peculiar position of the Smithsonian Institution suggested the 
application of this plan, on a wider scale, and for a more important 
purpose, than that of merely facilitating the publication of new and 
complete editions of separate catalogues. 

It had been proposed to form a general catalogue of all the books 
in the country, with reference to the libraries where each might be 
found. The plan of stereotyping titles separately, suggested the fol- 
lowing system for the accomplishment of this important purpose: 

1. The Smithsonian Institution to publish rules for the preparation 
of Catalogues. 

2. Other institutions, intending to publish catalogues of their 
books, to be requested to prepare them in accordance with these 
rules, with a view to their being stereotyped under the direction of 
the Smithsonian Institution. 

3. The Smithsonian Institution to pay the whole extra expense of 
stereotyping, or such part thereof as may be agreed upon. 

4. The stereotyped titles to remain the property of the Smith- 
sonian Institution. 

5. Every library acceding to this plan, to have the right of using 
all the titles in the possession of the Institution, as often as desired, 
for the printing of its own catalogue by the Smithsonian Institution, 
paying only the expense of making up the pages, of press-work, and 
of distributing the titles to their proper places. 

6. The Smithsonian Institution to publish as soon as possible, and 
at stated intervals, a General Catalogue of all Libraries coming into 
this system. 

I have already presented to members of the Convention copies of an 
unfinished work entitled the "Smithsonian Catalogue System." It 
contains: 1. A detailed account of the system; 2. Rules for the 



LIBRARIANS' CONVENTION 1853 25 

preparation of Catalogues; 3. Examples illustrating the rules. As to 
the first two matters, the work is complete. It was intended to print 
as examples the titles of all the works, in the department of bibli- 
ography and literary history, in the Smithsonian Library. These 
titles, to the number of one thousand, are stereotyped and ready for 
use. The progress of the work was interrupted by the sickness and 
absence of two of the men on whom we relied. I have been able to 
print off a few copies, by using the type for the last form of the 
rules instead of the stereotype plates as in the rest of the book, by 
limiting the number of examples and omitting the indexes. I hope 
in a few weeks to be able to finish this book, and to present it 
through the Smithsonian Institution to the public, as the first detailed 
publication of the system. About three years ago I read a paper on 
the subject before the American Scientific Association. I did not 
present the matter before the public, till the practicability of stereo- 
typing by separate titles had been demonstrated. Practical stereo- 
typers had said that it could not be done. But the perseverance and 
ingenuity of a gentleman now present, the Eev. Mr. Hale, of Wor- 
cester, showed that it could be done by the electrotype process, and 
even by the common stereotype process. This point once proved, we 
sought the best method of executing the work. About this time, Mr. 
Josiah Warren, of Indiana, called our attention to the new process 
and material for stereotyping which he had patented. We gave them 
a thorough trial, and at last adopted them. We have done much to 
perfect the process, and we are now ready to show to experts in prac- 
tical printing the results which we have attained. The perfecting 
of this mode of stereotyping, the adaptation of it to our purposes, 
and the arrangement of the practical details for the great work upon 
which we are commencing, have consumed much time and demanded 
great labor. The mechanical difficulties which we have had to meet 
and overcome will be appreciated by printers and stereotypers. The 
bibliographical difficulties will be fully understood by librarians. As 
soon as the practicability of the system bad been established, as 
fully as it could possibly be, before its actual application on a large 
scale, and the value of it to the world of learning had been considered 
and proclaimed by a commission of the most competent men to whom 
the subject was referred by the Smithsonian Institution, the matter 
was presented to the Joint Library Committee of Congress. They 
considered it fully, and in the most liberal spirit, and finally recom- 
mended to Congress an appropriation for the cataloguing of its li- 



26 LIBBAKIANS ' CONVENTION 1853 

brary upon this plan. This appropriation was readily granted. It is 
sufficient to enable us to prosecute the work till next December or 
January. It is not enough to finish the catalogue, but it is all that 
was asked for. We wish to proceed cautiously demonstrating, step 
by step, the practicability and usefulness of our operations. The 
work on the catalogue of the Library of Congress is now in progress. 
The system is therefore in actual operation. 

The title of every book and of each distinct edition is stereotyped 
upon a separate plate. The author's name also stands by itself. 
Each plate shows at a glance the heading to which it belongs. It is 
obvious that these plates may be placed together in alphabetical or 
other order, as may be desired. They are mounted on blocks, for 
printing like other stereotype plates. The great ends to be gained are : 

1. To avoid the necessity of preparing, composing, and correcting 
anew the titles once printed, when the Library has received accessions, 
or the alternative of printing the titles of these accessions in supple- 
ments, which are very inconvenient appendages. 

2. To prevent the repetition of the work of preparation of titles, 
composition and correction of press, for copies of the same book in 
different libraries. The title once prepared and stereotyped, remains 
at the Smithsonian Institution, to be used by any Library having the 
same book. 

3. To secure uniformity in the construction of catalogues, thus 
greatly facilitating the researches of the student. 

It is obvious that the cost of the first catalogue will be greater than 
if it were not stereotyped. The work of preparation will also be 
more expensive. But the additional cost of the first edition will be 
more than saved in the first reprinting of the whole catalogue. It 
will be further understood that the sum paid by the first Library is 
not only for its own benefit, but for that of every other Library 
hereafter adopting the plan, so far aa its books are the same. Con- 
gress is therefore now conferring a great boon upon other Libraries, 
while at the same time it is taking the course, in the end most econom- 
ical, for the construction of the catalogues of its own library. There 
will also be a great saving of the expense of paper and press-work 
under this system. It is customary now to print off a larger number 
of copies of every catalogue than are immediately wanted, because it 
cannot be known how many may be required before the catalogue can 
be reprinted. On this plan, when a new edition, with all additions 



LIBBAEIANS' CONVENTION 1853 27 

incorporated, can be had at any time, it will not be thought necessary 
to print more copies than enough to meet the immediate demand. 

It should be mentioned as one of the most important advantages of 
this system, that it affords the means of attaining great accuracy in the 
catalogues. Every effort will be made to secure accuracy in the first 
instance. Librarians will not, however, be surprised to find numer- 
ous errors. This system offers the best means of detecting and cor- 
recting these errors. Every time that a title is used for a new cata- 
logue, it must be very carefully compared with the book itself. Every 
mistake and variation will be reported in a friendly spirit, and im- 
mediately corrected. The catalogue will thus be constantly under- 
going a process of verification and improvement. 

Upon all these topics I have dwelt more fully and systematically in 
the pamphlet to which I have alluded. It may not be amiss for me 
to notice one or two objections which may occur to the minds of prac- 
tical printers against the use of these stereotype plates. One is, that 
the plates, being used so often, will become worn, and that when new 
plates are inserted, the difference between the new and old plates will 
be observable on the printed sheets. 

To this objection I can say in reply: First, the number of copies 
required for each catalogue would be so small that it would be many 
years before there would be any noticeable difference between the old 
and new plates, were they made from common type metal. But, sec- 
ondly, the material which we employ is harder than type metal, and 
resists much longer the wear of the press. I presume that a run of 
100,000 copies would not make any observable difference between the 
old plates and the new. 

Another difficulty which may suggest itself to some, is in keeping 
the register and preserving the uniform length of pages. The 
register, so far as the top and sides of the page are concerned, can 
be kept most perfectly. Variations in the length of the pages cannot 
be entirely avoided. But if some pages be longer or shorter by three 
or four lines, it is not a very serious matter. It may offend a print- 
er 's eye, but would not be noticed by the general reader. I may 
remark, however, that there are several ways of reducing the in- 
equalities. Very long titles may be stereotyped in two or three pieces. 
The titles on a short page may be spread apart, making the matter a 
little more open and thus elongating the page. The catalogue may 
be printed in dpuble-column folio. This size is preferable for a 



28 LIBEAEIANS ' CONVENTION 1853 

catalogue on other accounts. It presents more titles to the eye at 
once, and it also saves paper. 

I would not be understood as insisting upon the catalogue being in 
folio, nor, indeed, upon its being alphabetical. These are matters 
not essential to the system. Each librarian can choose for himself; 
the system possessing this great advantage, that it is equally ap- 
plicable to the folio, quarto, or octavo size; to alphabetical and to 
classed catalogues. 

There is one other point which may be noticed. This kind of cata- 
logue is not recommended for all purposes for which a catalogue or 
list of books may be desirable. It is proposed as the standard cata- 
logue for reference in every library containing works of permanent 
value. It is proposed as the basis for all other apparatus, such as 
indexes, shelf -lists, "finding catalogues," or short title catalogues, 
which it may be thought that the peculiar circumstances of any li- 
brary or every library require. From this catalogue all others may 
easily be made. This is supposed to be, in general, the first and most 
important of all the means for rendering a library serviceable to all 
classes of persons who may consult it. 

With respect to the rules for preparing catalogues, it may be 
proper to make a few explanatory remarks. They were formed after a 
careful study of those adopted for the preparation of the catalogue 
of the British Museum. They were examined and discussed in detail 
by the catalogue commission appointed by the Smithsonian Institu- 
tion. They have been carefully revised to meet exigencies which 
have occurred in the practical application of them. That they are 
perfect and all-sufficient, is not, indeed, to be supposed. On many 
points there would be a difference of opinion. An effort has been 
earnestly and honestly made to frame the best possible code. But 
whether it be absolutely the best or not, the great desideratum of 
uniformity will be attained by the adoption of it. 

The practical operation of the rules has been considered, no less 
than the theoretical perfection of the catalogue. It is necessary to 
frame such rules as we may reasonably expect to be able to follow. 
I would gladly have required that the number of pages of every book 
(distinguishing those of prefatory a.nd appended matter) and the 
names of publishers should in all cases be given. But these would 
require much additional time and labor, and would considerably in- 
crease the bulk of the catalogue. It was thought best, therefore, to 
omit them. We must endeavor to make the catalogue accurate so far 



LIBRARIANS' CONVENTION 1853 29 

as it goes. The examination of the book should be thorough. Addi- 
tional particulars may hereafter be added in the form of notes, with- 
out disturbing the work first done. 

The work upon which we have entered is not the work of a day, nor 
of a year. It demands long-continued, patient labor. Should it be 
successful, as we have every reason to hope that it will be, its best re- 
sults will be realized after we have ceased from our labors. But its 
immediate results will amply reward our efforts. Some of them are 
now almost attained. The catalogue of the Library of Congress will, 
it is hoped, be a valuable gift to the bibliographical world. To the 
list now nearly ready for publication, of the books in the department 
of bibliography and literary history, belonging to the Smithsonian 
Library, it will be easy to add those in other libraries not already 
catalogued. We can then present to librarians a complete catalogue 
of the bibliographical apparatus to be found in the country. Cata- 
logues of books in other branches of knowledge are now in prepara- 
tion. As we thus proceed from library to library, and from one de- 
partment of learning to another, each work will be complete and use- 
ful in itself, while it constitutes a finished portion of the general 
catalogue. 

At the conclusion of these remarks, Mr. Folsom presented 
the following resolutions: 

Resolved, That we have considered attentively the plan for con- 
structing catalogues of libraries, and a general catalogue of the pub- 
lic libraries of the United States, by means of stereotyped titles, pro- 
posed and developed by the Smithsonian Institution. That we regard 
it as an object of high importance to the interests of our public 
libraries, and to the promotion of learning, and worthy to share in the 
funds of the institution, and the zealous exertions of its officers; the 
more so as it is an enterprise which cannot be successfully prosecuted 
except under the protection, guidance and pecuniary support of this 
central establishment, for the increase and diffusion of knowledge. 

Eesolved, That we have learned with pleasure that Congress, on the 
recommendation of the Library Committee, made an appropriation for 
the practical testing of the plan in its application to the Library of 
Congress, and that the work is now in successful progress. 

Eesolved, That, as practical librarians and bibliographers, we take 
pride and satisfaction in the fact that a measure of so great literary 
utility has received the prompt and efficient support of our national 



30 LIBRARIANS ' CONVENTION 1853 

legislature, and we would express the earnest hope that this support 
be extended to it liberally till its first great results, in the complete 
stereotyped catalogue of the Library of Congress, shall be attained. 

Mr. SMITH, of Philadelphia, said he had investigated 
Prof. Jewett's plan with considerable interest, and could 
heartily favor the resolutions. He thought the catalogue 
of the British Museum even might be completed, and there- 
by the scholars of the world be greatly benefited, by follow- 
ing this system. He thought the result of this experiment 
would be one grand catalogue of all the libraries of the 
United States. 

Mr. HAVEN, of Worcester, said he thought the resolutions 
should contain some intimation that the idea was purely 
American in its inception and perfection. 

Mr. FOLSOM said the intent of the resolutions was to 
stamp it as American. 

The propriety of stating more clearly the fact, that the 
invention of separate stereotyped titles was purely Ameri- 
can, was advocated by Mr. Haven, Prof. Greene, and others. 

Prof. JEWETT said that within the last few months he 
had heard that a claim for this invention had been set up 
in France, by the Chevalier de La Garde, an employee of 
the National Library. After the speech he [Mr. J.] de- 
livered before the American Scientific Association, M. de la 
Garde published a letter in the Moniteur, in which he stat- 
ed that he had formed a similar plan eighteen years prev- 
ious, that he had published an account of it in 1845, and 
that he had endeavored to secure its adoption. The plan 
of the Chevalier de la Garde differed in many respects from 
his own, but still it contained the idea of separate stereo- 
type titles. Mr. J. stated still further, that this claim 
was entirely unknown to him until long after he had fully 
matured and had proposed his own system. He had never 
heard of such a proposition from any source, till after he 



LIBRARIANS' CONVENTION 1853 31 

had suggested it. He certainly hoped that full justice 
would be done to any earlier efforts than his own which 
may have been made in this direction. 

Mr. HAVEN remarked, that in every great discovery there 
was always found a number of men who laid claim to be 
the originators, but it was universally admitted that he who 
carried a discovery to its successful application was the one 
entitled to the credit as inventor. 

Mr. FOLSOM said that the idea had struck him thirty 
years ago, and therefore he had a better claim than the 
French gentleman. Neither claim amounted to anything. 
The idea had produced nothing practical and useful. He 
would say, however, that though he had had the idea, when 
Prof. Jewett mentioned it to him he said that its practical 
development was " impossible. " 

Mr. GUILD, of Providence, said he had at first entertained 
serious doubts as to the practicability of the system. Those 
doubts were now entirely removed, and he hoped the time 
would soon come when every library in the land would 
have its catalogue made out by means of separate stereo- 
typed titles. 

The first resolution was then amended as follows : 
Resolved, That we have considered attentively the plan for con- 
structing catalogues of libraries, and a general catalogue of the public 
libraries of the United States, by means of separate stereotyped titles, 
originated and proposed ~by Prof. C. C. Jewett, and developed by him 
while librarian of the Smithsonian Institution, etc. 

The three resolutions, as thus amended, were then unan- 
imously adopted. 

Mr. VINTON, of St. Louis, then presented the following: 

Eesolved, That a Committee of three be appointed by this Conven- 
tion, to prepare a history of the invention of applying movable stereo- 
type plates to the printing of separate titles in a catalogue ; and that 
their report be embodied in a writen memorial, to be presented at the 



32 LIBRARIANS ' CONVENTION 1853 

next annual session of this Convention, in order that it may be printed 
at the expense of the Convention. 

The resolution was carried unanimously and Mr. Fol- 
som, of Boston, Mr. Guild, of Providence, and Rev. Mr. 
Hale, of Worcester, were appointed that Committee. 

CENTRAL NATIONAL LIBRARY 

Mr. FOLSOM offered the following resolutions, which 
were adopted unanimously: 

Besolved, That the establishment of a great central library for ref- 
erence and research, while it is demanded by the condition of the 
United States as to general civilization and intellectual advancement, 
is especially interesting to this Convention from the bearing it would 
have upon libraries throughout the country. 

Besolved, That we deem such an establishment as being eminently 
worthy of support from the national treasury, and that in no way 
can the government better promote the progress of learning through 
the whole country, than by placing a central national library under 
the administration of the Smithsonian Institution. 

POPULAR LIBRARIES 

The importance of popular libraries in every part of our 
country, was introduced by Rev. S. Osgood, of New York, 
in the following remarks: 

I suppose, Mr. President, that no business is at present formally be- 
fore the Convention, and that it is in order now for any member to 
suggest topics of interest for the consideration of the Commitee just 
chosen. I hardly feel entitled to speak at this early stage of the 
proceedings, yet there may be something in my position, as a delegate 
and not a librarian, which will allow me to speak of your valuable 
profession, as one of yourselves, which you, with your characteristic 
professional modesty, could not do. When I first saw the call for 
this Convntion in the newspapers, the idea struck me as a capital one, 
especially from its probable influence upon the public spirit of the 
country, as well as upon the fellow-feeling of librarians as a pro- 
fessional class. I little expected, however, to take any part in your 
proceedings, until being surprised by an appointment from the Provi- 



LIBRARIANS ' CONVENTION 1853 33 

dence Athenaeum to represent its interest here, and thus renew with 
that noble institution a relation so much valued years ago. It is 
proper, therefore, for me to make some suggestions touching the 
welfare of our popular class of libraries, as repesenting an institution 
so pominent among them, and already numbering nearly twenty thou- 
sand volumes of the choicest books within its possession. 

May I not, however, say a word of congratulation at the appear- 
ance of things thus far in your assembly. It is good to be here with 
so large a class of men, so useful and laborious in one of the most 
important callings on earth the keepers and the choosers of the 
aliment that nurtures the mental life of the nation. Every man is 
better for honoring his vocation, and I hope that it will be one of the 
results of your deliberations to make you think more highly of your 
work, and to bring to its labors a more cordial esprit du corps. The 
profession to which I belong owes an especial debt of gratitude to 
yours, so dependent are we, in all our more advanced states, upon the 
treasures of which you are the custodians. I surely never felt more 
disposed to acknowledge the obligation than now, when addressing a 
chair occupied by one who has done such eminent service to the library 
cause in this country. Some ten years since how we rejoiced in your 
return to the city of Providence, from your European tour, backed by 
a force of some ten thousand volumes of the choicest ancient and mod- 
ern literature, to double the library of Brown University, and to 
multiply the resources of my earnest scholars, more abounding in 
the spirit than in the apparatus of liberal study. Much is said of 
the power of foreign immigration, and often the most startling statis- 
tics disclose the new elements of hope and peril that are landed every 
year upon our shores. Such immigration as you have promoted is all 
hopeful, and in nothing perilous. A blessing upon such arrivals of 
thousands of authors embodied in their books, and not a single shabby 
fellow among them all. What a great subject this matter of selecting 
and diffusing of books opens upon us! How much light would be 
thrown upon the inner life of the nation, if we could only trace the 
influence of good books as they make their noiseless progress through- 
out the land, spreading so much light, quickening so much energy, 
checking so much, and beguiling so much pain and sorrow! Honor 
to this movement that aims to help on the good cause. Too many 
bad books make their stealthy advances, that need to be tracked to 
their dens, even as the pestilence that walketh in darkness needs to 
be hunted to its hiding-place. Honor to every man who circulates 



34 LIBEAEIANS ' CONVENTION 1853 

two good books where only one circulated before. Kemember Milton 's 
noble words: "As good almost kill a man as kill a good book: who 
kills a man, kills a reasonable creature God's image; but he who 
destroys a good book, kills reason itself, kills the image of God as it 
were in the eye." 

I should be very glad at the fitting time to say my poor word in 
behalf of the highest class of public libraries, and of the need of 
bringing them up to a more adequate standard. Proud as we are 
of our four or five great libraries, there is not one of them, not even 
that of Harvard University, my own cherished Alma Mater, that 
affords the requisite means for the thorough study of any one topic 
of recondite learning, even, if of practical science. Any scholar 
who tries to investigate any ancient or historical subject will find, to 
his regret, that no library in the country has a plummet that can 
sound its depths. What facilities the noble Astor Library may af- 
ford, we can judge better when its merits are known and its treasures 
are consolidated. 

There is no reason for being down-hearted at this state of things, 
for we cannot expect soon to rival the great libraries of Europe, and 
our present task is rather with the increase and improvement of 
libraries for the people, than with great central institutions such as 
the wealth of centuries only can endow. As the mass of the people 
obtain a higher culture by means at hand in every town and city, 
the demand for the highest class of books will increase, and the 
hope of national collections will brighten. Now, what shall prevent 
our America from leading all nations of the earth longo intervallo in 
the number and value of our Popular Institutes and Athenaeums? We 
are probably not much behind, if at all behind, any portion of Europe 
in the number of books collected in our villages, and available to the 
community at large. But not a tithe of the progress has been made 
that should have been made. What prevents every community of a 
thousand inhabitants from having its well-chosen library of a thou- 
sand volumes? And if this ratio were to be carried out in all our 
towns, how vast would be the increase and how noble the triumph 
of a sound popular literature! May not this Convention do some- 
thing, by its discussions and action, to call attention to this matter, 
and rouse many a slumbering township to its imperative duty? 
Who shall presume to estimate adequately the advantages coming 
from the establishment of a good library in a community not before 



LIBRARIANS ' CONVENTION 1853 35 

so favored? The immediate vicinity and the whole nation share in 
the benefit. 

Many a thriving town needs some such centre of generous and elevat- 
ing interest as an attractive library must be, and it should be consid- 
ered but half civilized until such a centre is established. It should be 
one of the first things to be pointed out to the traveler in new regions. 
When in distant places, we yearn for some familiar objects, and we 
feel at once at home when we hear the pleasant church bells, and see 
the goodly company of stout men, fair women and sprightly children 
on their way to the sanctuary. How this home feeling is deepened 
when we enter some neat and well-filled library, and look upon the 
array of good authors open to the perusal of the people, and feel a 
new sense even of humane and religious fellowship, as we think of 
the grand intellectual catholicity that unites the whole civilized world 
in the same literary allegiance. The village library attracts to itself 
every congenial ally, and tends to diffuse social refinement as well 
as intellectual light. The Lyceum, often suggested by the tastes 
formed by reading, repays the debt by popular lectures, whose pro- 
ceeds often pay the expense of new books, and there is no more 
cheering view of our Young America than that afforded by the 
thousands and tens of thousands of young men, of generous and in- 
quiring minds, who gather around the popular institute, with its 
library and courses of lectures. 

This Convention will not meet in vain, if it shall give the incen- 
tive to form one new institution of the kind anywhere in the land. 
Every such library tends to foster a worthy public spirit among citi- 
zens of ample means. Many a successful merchant of the city, who 
has thriven largely in some "sugar trade or cotton line," and who 
abounds far more in generous impulses than literary attainments, would 
rejoice to send to his native town or village some choice work of art, 
or valuable selection of books, as a token of kindly remembrance, 
if an institution existed that should suggest the hint and indicate 
the method to the benefactor. It will be found that every well or- 
ganized popular library has been much enriched by such donations, 
none more so than that which I now represent, that Athenaeum so 
nobly endowed by the heirs of Ives, so strengthened by the bequest 
of Butler, and favored every year by the generosity of men less 
abounding in wealth, yet not less wanting in the right spirit. 

The whole country grows by such institutions, for they at once 



36 LIBRARIANS ' CONVENTION 1853 

collect the local and fugitive literature, so important to the natural 
history, and they create a demand for the best class of books, secur- 
ing of themselves an encouraging market for a good sized edition of 
every work of undoubted value. I call your attention seriously to 
the value of such enterprises, and urge you to do something to ex- 
tend and improve them. Following the report prepared by yourself, 
Mr. President, under the auspices of Congress, I find the number of 
libraries, of a public character, containing 1,000 volumes and up- 
wards, to be only 423, and the aggregate number of volumes in the 
694 libraries reported, exclusive of school libraries, to be 2,201,623. 
Now, sir, where is the town of any importance that should not at 
once have its thousand of good books circulating among its people, 
and what but the want of the true spirit shall prevent our two millions 
of volumes from swelling to twenty millions, nay, reaching before 
the year of the next census the full limit of our numerical population, 
although it may exceed thirty millions? Sir, with your leave, I offer 
the following resolutions: 

Resolved, That while we maintain most decidedly the importance 
of libraries of the highest class, in furtherance of the most advanced 
literary and scientific studies, and rejoice in the rise and progress 
of our few great collections of books for professional scholars, we are 
convinced that for the present our chief hope must be in the estab- 
lishment and improvement of popular libraries throughout the land. 

Resolved, That the Business Committee be requested to call at- 
tention to the desirableness of a popular Library Manual, which shall 
embody the most important information upon the chief points in 
question, especially upon 

1. The best organization of a Library society, in regard to its of- 
ficers, laws, funds, and general regulations. 

2. The best plans for Library edifices, and the arrangements of 
the shelves and books, with the requisite architectural drawings. 

3. The most approved method of making out and printing cata- 
logues. 

4. The most desirable principle to be followed in the selection and 
purchase of books, as to authors and editions ; with lists of such works 
as are best suited for libraries of various sizes, from 500 to 1,000 
volumes or upwards. 

Resolved, That the Business Committee be requested to consider 
the expediency of memorializing Congress to procure the preparation 
of such a Manual, through the agency of the Smithsonian Institution. 



LIBBABIANS' CONVENTION 1853 37 

These resolutions were referred to the following commit- 
tee, who are to take action upon them and report at the 
next meeting of the Convention ; viz. : Rev. S. Osgood, Prof. 
C. C. Jewett, and Mr. R. A. Guild. 

Subsequently, Rev. GORHAM D. ABBOTT presented the 
following resolutions: 

Besolved, That the time has now arrived when the extension of 
well-selected public libraries, of 1,000, 5,000 and 10,000 volumes, 
throughout the towns and villages, the associations, the institutions, 
the schools of every kind in the United States, has becomes a matter 
of the greatest importance to the future welfare of our country. 

Eesolved, That a committee of three be appointed to report a 
digested plan for the promotion of this object at the next meeting 
of this Convention. 

Mr. HALE seconded these resolutions, and hoped that 
some means might be found to carry out the principle. 
But he called the attention of his friend who moved it to 
the danger which lurked in every such plan; that, so soon 
as such a list of books was suggested, there started up a 
bookseller's job, and the benefit of the list was lost in the 
struggles of those who sought to be the only publishers who 
could supply the libraries. The School Boards of the 
various States have found this difficulty so incurable, that 
they have refrained from suggesting any list of school books 
as an official list to be followed. There was, too, always, 
in every town, some peculiar want to be satisfied, which no 
general list could meet. 

He took the opportunity presented in this resolution, to 
attempt some definition as to the real character of a "pop- 
ular library:" the words had been frequently used in the 
sessions of the Convention, but needed more accuracy in 
their use than, out of the Convention, they always gained. 
In fact, there were two distinct meanings of the word 
"popular," and it is to one of these only that the resolu- 
tion of his friend referred, or his support of it. That is 



38 LIBRARIANS ' CONVENTION 1853 

"popular" which at the moment is attractive, as the play 
bills in the streets said Miss Julia Dean was a "popular" 
actress. That is "popular" in another sense, which is of 
real use to the whole people ; and it is in this sense only 
that the resolution contemplates a popular library. 

The great duty and the great difficulty of the trustees of 
popular libraries is, to keep them true to this sort of pop- 
ularity, and to turn as sternly as possible from the tempta- 
tion to buy books which are popular, only because at the 
moment attractive, for this last class of purchases becomes 
the most costly possible. In a few years, in a few months 
even, such books lose all their attraction, and the library 
has bought them at the highest price, to give them shelf- 
room afterwards, when they are worth really nothing at all. 
A circulating library sold at auction, is a good index of the 
worth, after a few years, of books "popular" in their day. 
Mr. H. illustrated this view of the change of value of books 
by one or two instances. 

He then said, that the enterprise of the princely pub- 
lishers of this city had relieved library purchasers of a 
great part of the difficulty in balancing the two ' ' populari- 
ties. " That magnificent enterprise which has made books 
cheaper in America than in any country in the world, 
makes it so easy for every man to get hold of the cheap 
literature which is simply transitory in its character, that 
there is really no need now to accumulate that in a public 
library. At the same time, this very cheap literature, 
which, with all its dangers, and they are great, was still 
the greatest blessing to the training of this country, had 
created, and would still create, the popular appetite for 
books behind it, which the public library, if it was really 
popular, ought to supply. The youngster who had bought 
for a shilling the fascinating account of the Russian Cam- 
paign, by Alexander Dumas, has a right to find in the pub- 



LIBBARIANS' CONVENTION 1853 39 

lie library the more fascinating pages of the Count Segur, 
from which it is drawn. To-day, said Mr. Hale, the great 
literary question seems likely to be, whether Napoleon was 
the best, greatest, and most religious of men, or the worst, 
meanest, and least religious of men. Now, the young men 
and young women who are interested in that discussion, 
have a right to claim of a public library, that when they 
turn from Mr. Abbott's fascinating life of him in Harper, 
they shall find the only reading about him, which is more 
fascinating, in the details of his own dispatches, or the 
memoirs of his own generals. For the popular life which 
circulates a thousand copies in every large town, they need 
not look to the public library : for the materials to which it 
refers them they must look there ; and they have a right to 
claim that they shall be found there. And this merit has 
the purchase of such books, that every year their value in- 
creases, while every year the value of books, which are 
simply the talk of the day, falls off till they are worth 
nothing at all. 

The resolutions were adopted, and Messrs. Haven, of 
"Worcester, Abbott, of New York, and Jewett, of Washing- 
ton, appointed as the committee for reporting a plan at 
the next annual meeting. 



Mr. LLOYD P. SMITH, of Philadelphia, presented the fol- 
lowing resolutions: 

Whereas, The documents published by order of the Congress of the 
United States, are printed in large numbers at the public expense, 
and 

Whereas, It is desirable that they should be so distributed as to 
be accessible for reference to all citizens, and at the same time pre- 
served for posterity, therefore 

Resolved, That a Committee of two be appointed to memorialize 
Congress, on behalf of this Convention, requesting the passage of a 



40 LIBRARIANS ' CONVENTION 1853 

joint resolution, granting to the Smithsonian Institution, for distri- 
bution among the principal Public Libraries throughout the United 
States, copies of all such Journals of Congress, Senate Documents, 
House Documents, Eeports of Committees, and other State Papers as 
may hereafter be printed by order of Congress. 

Mr. SMITH said it was necessary, with such an intelligent 
audience as that before him, to expatiate on the importance 
of the Public Documents and State Papers of the United 
States. They were constantly wanted for reference, not 
only by historians, but by lawyers, claimants on the Gov- 
ernment, and citizens generally, seeking information. In 
a word, they are invaluable. 

He would rather say a few words on the right which he 
conceived the Convention had, in its representative char- 
acter, to call upon Congress so to distribute the Public 
Documents that they may be forever accessible to their 
constituents. These documents are printed at vast ex- 
pense, which comes out of the pockets of the citizens gen- 
erally. By the present mode of distribution to members 
of Congress and a few favored libraries only, they become, 
soon after publication, so scarce as to be practically useless, 
whereas, by the proposed distribution to the public libra- 
ries of the country, and for purposes of reference, (he pre- 
sumed every library there represented was accessible to 
all civil gentlemen,) they would always be at hand for the 
use of those for whose benefit they were, in fact, printed. 
The Convention did not, therefore, by passing these resolu- 
tions, come before Congress in the attitude of beggars, but 
rather as demanding, respectfully, but firmly, for the peo- 
ple at large, their own. 

Not that he would imply that there was, on the part of 
Congress, the slightest indisposition to do what in it lay 
for the "increase and diffusion of knowledge." On the 
contrary, the facts just mentioned by the Librarian of the 



LIBRARIANS' CONVENTION 1853 41 

Smithsonian Institution, not to speak of the munificent 
appropriation of something like $150,000 for a work which, 
it was supposed, would be a history of the Indian Trihes, 
showed that Congress was not indifferent to the claims of 
learning. But there was a natural and proper dread of 
jobbery and corruption in making these appropriations. 
In the case just mentioned the money had better have been 
thrown into the Potomac than that the Government should 
be disgraced. How much better had the $150,000 been 
spent in building, on the foundation of the Congress Li- 
brary, or that of the Smithsonian Institution, a great Na- 
tional Library, which should be for this country what the 
British Museum, the Bibliotheque du Roi, the Royal Li- 
brary of Berlin, and other national institutions are for the 
scholars of the old world. And this led him to speak of 
the plan of distribution which, by these resolutions, was 
recommended to the wisdom of Congress. If a list of 
libraries was recommended by this Convention to the favor 
of Congress, those Senators and Representatives whose con- 
stituents were not included, would either oppose the resolu- 
tions, or, by adding amendment after amendment, endanger 
their passage; or if they should be passed, no provision 
would be made for libraries hereafter to be founded. No 
objection, he thought, could be made in any quarter, to 
handing over, every session, say at least 300 copies of all 
Public Documents to the Regents of the Smithsonian In- 
stitution, to be, at their discretion, distributed to such 
libraries as would be likely to use them for the greatest 
benefit of the country. 

Mr. HALE was very glad to see this subject brought up. 
He looked upon it as the most important subject that could 
be brought before them. The government of the United 
States did more for the encouragement of Literature than 
any government of the world, but still, through some mis- 



42 LIBEABIANS ' CONVENTION 1853 

take at Washington, the documents printed at the public 
expense were not circulated as generally as they ought to 
be. A complete collection of all the public documents of 
the United States could not now be found anywhere. 

The above resolutions were unanimously adopted. Messrs. 
Smith, of Philadelphia, and Folsom, of Boston, were ap- 
pointed the Committee. 

The president also was subsequently added. 

Mr. WALLACE, of Philadelphia, offered the following 
resolutions, which he introduced with a few appropriate 
remarks. The resolutions were unanimously passed: 

Besolved, As a sense of this Convention, that the completeness of 
public law libraries throughout the country, and the interest of Amer- 
ican jurisprudence, would be promoted by having, in each incorporated 
or public law library of the United States, a complete set of the 
Statutes at large of every State of the Union, in their original and un- 
abridged condition. And that, as these volumes appear only from year 
to year, as they are not often on sale by law booksellers, nor easily 
procured from year to year by application, therefore, that this Con- 
vention respectfully suggests to the Governors, Secretaries of State, 
Legislatures or other public authorities having power to distribute 
these volumes, to make some permanent orders for transmitting to 
the Smithsonian Institution, at Washington, for disribution to the 
library of the Law Association at Philadelphia, and to the other pub- 
lic or incorporated law libraries throughout the United States, a cer- 
tain number of copies of their statute laws, as published from year 
to year by the Legislatures of the respective States, in the original 
and unabridged condition. 

Besolved, That the Secretary of the Law Association of Phila- 
delphia, be requested, with leave of that body, to transmit a copy of 
this resolution to the respective Governors and Secretaries of State 
throughout the Union, with any remarks he may see proper to make 
on the subject. 

The following, which was presented by Mr. GUILD, was 
also adopted: 

Besolved, That the members of this Convention cordially recom- 
mend the mutual interchange, so far as may be practicable, of the 
printed catalogues of all our public libraries. 



LIBRAEIANS ' CONVENTION 1853 43 

INDEXES TO AMERICAN LITERATURE 

Mr. EDWIN WILLIAMS presented the following plan for 
an Index to American Newspapers : 

Proposed Index of American Newspapers, and Chronology of Impor- 
tant Events for the last 125 years 

The undersigned, as a member of the New York Historical Society, 
brought before one of the regular meetings of that institution a pro- 
posal, for causing to be made an index of the principal American 
newspapers on their files, extending over a period of one hundred and 
twenty-five years, in so many serial volumes. The proposal was 
favorably received by the Society, and referred to a special committee, 
of which the undersigned is chairman, with power to carry the same 
into effect; and he desires an expression of the opinion of this Con- 
vention on the subject, believing that it is important to the interests 
of Historical Literature, as it must open new sources of information, 
particularly to those engaged in researches either for literary or bus- 
iness purposes. 

The plan proposes an index and chronological arrangement of the 
most important matters relative to American history, which may be 
found in the newspapers in the library of the Historical Society, 
principally those published in the city of New York, commencing in 
or about the year 1728, and continued to the present year; the index 
to include also the volumes of the National Intelligencer, which has 
been published at the city of Washington for the last half century. 
It might also embrace the volumes of Niles' Register, published in 
Baltimore, from 1811 to 1849, to which there is a semi-annual but 
no general index, except for the first twelve volumes. 

The proposed index would probably comprise two octavo volumes of 
about one thousand pages, arranged on the plan of Holmes' American 
Annals, which comprise two volumes of chronology, from 1492 to 1826. 
Five or more persons could be employed in the work of preparing the 
index, under the auspices of the committee of the New York Historical 
Society, and the time required need not exceed two years. The Society 
would then publish the work in two volumes, in an edition of one thou- 
sand or one thousand five hundred copies. The total expense is esti- 
mated at ten thousand dollars; one-half for the preparation, and one- 
half for printing and binding. 

To provide for the payment of the expense, it is proposed to obtain 
two hundred subscribers, at fifty dollars each, and the volumes, when 



44 LIBEARIANS ' CONVENTION 1853 

published, to belong to the subscribers, each receiving five copies of 
the work for his share of fifty dollars. EDWIN WILLIAMS. 

Mr. HAVEN presented the following resolution in rela- 
tion to this subject, which was adopted: 

Besolved, That this Convention approve the plan of the proposed 
index and chronology of American newspapers, belonging to the New 
York Historical Society, on the plan submitted by Edwin Williams, 
and referred, for the purpose of being carried out, to a special com- 
mittee of that Society, and that we recommend the proposition to the 
favorable consideration and support of the friends of literature 
throughout the United States, particularly to libraries and other 
literary institutions. 

II 

A copy of a new index to the Periodical Literature of 
England and America was exhibited to the Convention, 
and, on motion of Mr. Folsom it was unanimously 

Resolved, That we have examined the work entitled "Index to 
Periodicals," by W. F. Poole, Librarian of the Mercantile Library of 
Boston, and that we approve of its plan and execution, and we rec- 
ommend that a similar system of indexing be extended to the trans- 
actions and memoirs of learned societies. 

The following plan for a Catalogue of Standard Works 
relating to America was presented by Mr. DISTURNELL, and 
referred to the Business Committee : 

STANDARD WORKS ON AMERICA, showing its Hitsory, Geography, 
and Statistics. 

Also, a Catalogue of Works relating to American History, Geog- 
raphy, and Statistics of Population, Emigration, Agriculture, Com- 
merce, Manufactures, Internal Improvements, Minerals, Coinage, and 
Banking. 

The Historical and Geographical Works, including Maps and Charts, 
to date from the first discovery of America, by Columbus, to the pres- 
ent time. The Statistical Works to date from the first enumeration of 
the population of the United States, in 1790 or 1800, to the present 
period. "Statistics," although of modern date, the subject having first 
been brought forward and matured by Sir John Sinclair, of Scotland, 



LIBEABIANS ' CONVENTION 1853 45 

during the last half and first part of the present century, is no doubt 
destined to become one of the most important sciences for the ad- 
vancement of the human race. Enough is already known, from of- 
ficial and reliable statements, to form correct conclusions in regard 
to the working of different systems, whether relating to governments 
or domestic relations. Everything that can be numbered, weighed, or 
measured can be made the subject of minute inquiry and careful reg- 
istry. What were formerly considered pure accidents, and so exempt 
from close examination, or beneath notice, have been shown, under 
the statistician's arrangement, to be the products of general laws, 
and to have a real and systematic bearing upon the welfare of man. 

As the Science of Statistics is of so recent date, it is necessary to 
unite History and Geography in order to make the chain of knowledge 
perfect from the first discovery of the American continent, or its 
islands, in 1492, to the present period. 

A complete list of Standard WorTcs on information relating to the 
above kindred subjects, with the date of first publication, whether in 
bound volumes, manuscripts, public documents, pamphlets, or separate 
articles in magazines, &c., giving the names of compilers and author- 
ities as far as possible, would afford great assistance to the seeker 
after useful knowledge, aid in the formation of private and public 
libraries, and thus be a lasting benefit to the present and future gen- 
erations. 

CLASSIFICATION OF WORKS INTO CATALOGUES 



The following letter from M. Merlin, of Paris, was pre- 
sented to the Convention by Mr. C. B. Norton : 

PARIS, 29th August, 1853. 

DEAR SIR In promising to send to your Convention a slight bib- 
liographical offering, I felt that I have not consulted my strength nor 
my time, and I must beg you to judge indulgently of these pages, 
traced in haste, and with the sole desire of expressing to you, as well 
as to the learned gentlemen who will assemble, my sympathy with 
their efforts. 

I am happy to learn that one of the questions likely to be proposed 
at your bibliographical meeting is, the choice of some plan of classifi- 
cation proper to be adopted by the Libraries of the United States. 
Having been long impressed with the insufficiency of the different 



46 LIBRAKIANS ' CONVENTION 1853 

methods in use or proposed, I have made this important question the 
object of my study, and I have in press, at the Imperial Printing Of- 
fice, a work in which, after having reviewed, analyzed, and estimated 
all that has been done up to the present time, especially in Prance, I 
now propose a new method, and give you herewith its principal points. 
I have already made use of this system of classification in several 
catalogues. That of the rich library of the celebrated Orientalist, 
Sylvestre de Sacy, edited by me, in 3 vols., 8vo, Paris, 1843 to 1847, 
shows the application of my system, and has some explanations in 
the preface. 

In my opinion every systematic bibliographical classification should 
be based upon the logical classification of the sciences. I have there- 
fore sought, in the first place, for the most natural order of arranging 
the different branches of human knowledge, independently of all 
application to bibliography, and it is from that order that I have 
deduced my bibliographical system. 

It is very difficult, I am aware, to judge correctly of a system from 
these detached portions. Nevertheless, I do not hesitate to transcribe 
for you some passages from my forthcoming work, which I think will 
give you an insight into my plan. If there are any obscure or doubt- 
ful passages, I trust that they will be explained by the work itself on 
its appearance. 

"According to my views, a system of bibliographical classification 
is a logical chain of great classes and their subdivisons, whose forma- 
tion and order are the result of a few principles, which serve as a base 
to the system. The great object of bibliographical classification is to 
assist the memory, by presenting information which will facilitate 
the inquirer in his search after books that he already knows exist, and 
impart to him information concerning those with which he is unac- 
quainted. This is almost the same as presenting the literary history 
of each science in a synoptical form. This result can only be attained 
by bringing together all the works that treat on the same subject, and 
by arranging them in such order that the mind shall pass naturally 
from each subject to that which should follow or precede it; and in 
this way the place where any subject is found will be a sort of 
definition of its nature, and its distinctive characteristics. . . It is 
from this double operation, that is to say, from the bringing together 
similar subjects in their special groups, and determining the order 
which should be given to these groups, that their logical connection 



LIBBAEIANS ' CONVENTION 1853 47 

will be made manifest, and great assistance be given to the memory 
and mind. . . 

"But in order that this logical connection shall really assist the 
memory and the mind, it must be easy to comprehend and bear in 
mind the principles according to which the subjects have been brought 
together, and their order determined. . . 

"If principles are adopted from merely abstract considerations, the 
classification will fail of accomplishing its end; it will be intelligible 
only to the minds of the few, and the best memory will fail to retain 
it. . . 

' ' If, on the contrary, the divisions are taken from the nature of the 
objects to be classified, and their order is based upon those great laws 
of nature which may be daily noted, the system will become intel- 
ligible to all, and every one's memory will be assisted. 
General Classification of the Sciences, independent of Bibliography 

"Therefore the Sciences have been generally classified according 
to arbitrary or metaphysical considerations, as that of the progress of 
the Sciences, their comparative value, the relation which they bear to 
each other, their various applications, the nature of the moral fac- 
ulties, the sources of human knowledge. . . 

"Throwing aside these abstract considerations, I would rest upon 
principles which I consider less subject to discussion and more easy to 
be understood. . . 

"According to my view, the first element of scientific classification 
should be taken from the subjects treated. Compare the Sciences with 
each other, and you will not fail to see that the most certain and the 
most unchangeable characteristic which distinguishes one from the 
other is the subject itself, and their position is, therefore, to be 
decided upon according to the nature of the subject treated. It is 
from this subject that they almost always take their name; but the 
same subject may be considered under different views, and may thus 
give rise to several Sciences connected with each other by the iden- 
tity of the subject, but distinct according to the point of view from 
which each is considered. . . 

"Thence result two principal and distinct things to be considered; 
first, the general subject, which will serve to separate these Sciences 
into groups; second, the point of view which will distinguish the 
Sciences of each group from one another. . . 

"The subject has given us the distinctive character, according to 



48 LIBEAEIANS ' CONVENTION 1853 

which our divisions will be formed; it will also give us the order of 
these divisions. Since each group of Sciences represents a special 
subject, it is evident that the order of these groups should be modeled 
from the subjects which they represent. . . 

"Notwithstanding the indefinite variety of the subjects of human 
knowledge, all are material things, or are connected with material 
things by ties more or less direct, more or less intimate. If, then, 
we can find the most natural order for the productions of Creation, 
we shall have found the most natural order for the subjects of human 
knowledge, and, consequently, for human knowledge itself. . . It is 
not difficult to discover this order; it is seen by us at all times; it 
is that which the Creator himself has traced in his works, by grad- 
uating with such admirable regularity the organization of all beings, 
from the stone up to man. 

"I would accordingly classify human knowledge by the objects of 
which it treats, either directly or indirectly, all arranged in the or- 
ganic scale of being, and graduate this scale according to the chron- 
ological order of creation; that is to say, rising from the most simple 
to the most perfect. 

"As to the subjects which treat of intellectual abstractions, of the 
moral world, or considerations of the social state, we shall see, by 
what follows, how they take their place in the outline that I have just 
traced. 

"I will proceed by analysis, showing the whole before the sections, 
the entire plan before the details, things in general before those in 
particular. 

Great Divisions 

"In the universality of beings we see, as a first division, on one 
side the Creator, on the other the Creation. All the ideas that relate 
to God, to whatever opinion or religion they may belong, will form 
a principal group, that I shall designate by the title of THEOLOGICAL 
SCIENCES. 

"The Sciences and Arts which treat of the whole or any portion 
of those myriads of created beings, shall be comprised under the 
common title of COSMOLOGICAL SCIENCES. 

' ' Since cause is before effect, the science which treats of God should 
be before all other sciences, and it would be so in my classification, 
without the principles of analytical exposition by which my system is 
arranged, and according to which every science which embraces several 



LIBRARIANS' CONVENTION 1853 49 

objects ought to precede that which treats only of those objects. 
Now Theology has only God for its object, and there is another sci- 
ence which treats of God and the Creation, that is PHILOSOPHY; not 
Psychology, which only describes the human soul, not Moral Philos- 
ophy, which lays down rules for social life, but Philosophy, as known 
to the Ancients, treating of first causes, of the Essence of Being, of 
the Creator and created things; in a word, embracing everything in 
an encyclopedic manner; Philosophy will then precede Theology, and 
after it will come the Sciences which relate to created things." 
From this order spring three great divisions, 
I. PHILOSOPHY. 
II. THEOLOGICAL SCIENCES. 
III. COSMOLOGICAL SCIENCES. 

1. MATHEMATICAL SCIENCE. 

2. PHYSICAL ' ' 

3. ASTEONOMICAL ' ' 

4. GEOLOGICAL ' ' 

5. MlNERALOGICAL ' ' 

6. PHYTOLOGICAL ' ' 

7. ZOOLOGICAL ' ' 

8. ANTHROPOLOGICAL ' ' 

As to the sciences which relate to Man, their division and order are 
not less simple or less natural. I consider Man under two heads, 
Individual Man and Man in Society. Individual man presents me 
with two divisions, Physical Man and Moral Man. Society also fur- 
nishes me with two divisions, the Social or Political Sciences and the 
Historical Sciences. 

This is, sir, the outline of my classification of the Sciences without 
the Bibliographical application. Ths application changes nothing of 
importance, it only adds numerous subdivisions and another class, 
POLYGRAPHY 

I should be very much honored if my method were judged by your 
learned librarians worthy of being applied to the literary collections 
which are made all over America. But, whatever may be the judg- 
ment passed upon it, I shall be always delighted, sir, with the cir- 
cumstance which has procured for me the opportunity of making your 
acquaintance, and to prove to you the great respect with which I am, 
sir, Your very devoted servant, R. MERLIN. 

Mr. Charles B. Norton. 



50 LIBRARIANS ' CONVENTION 1853 

II 

A Paper on the Classified Index of the Catalogue of the 
Philadelphia Library Company, prepared for the Librar- 
ians' Convention, by LLOYD P. SMITH, ESQ.: 

GENTLEMEN: It has occurred to me that a short account of the 
manner of arranging and cataloguing the books of the Library Com- 
pany of Philadelphia, might give rise to a discussion on those sub- 
jects which would be mutually instructive. 

The Philadelphia Library has been in existence 121 years, and now 
numbers 65,000 vols. The books are arranged on the shelves accord- 
ing to a plan perhaps somewhat peculiar; that is, simply according to 
size. There are four sets of numbers, viz. : of folios, quartos, octavos, 
and duodecimos. This plan has some advantages as well as some dis- 
advantages. It gives a neat and uniform appearance to the books as 
they stand on the shelves, and it makes it easy to ascertain at once 
whether a book is "in" or not. There is one exact spot where each 
volume ought to be ; if it is not there it must be ' ' out. ' ' It has the 
disadvantage that the works on the same subject are not together. 
This is, however, less important with us than in those libraries where 
the cases are open to the public or to members for inspection. The 
books in the Philadelphia Library are always kept under lock and 
key, the titles on the backs being, however, visible through the wires 
which protect them. When a book is wanted, the catalogue indicates 
the number and size, and, on the principle of "a place for everything 
and everything in its place," it is readily found. 

It is obvious that, in our system, this strict dependence (where the 
librarian's memory is at fault) on the Catalogue makes a good one 
of the greatest importance. 

When I took charge of the Library, in Jan., 1849, the state of the 
Catalogues was this: 

All the books acquired by the Library before 1835 were included in 
one general Catalogue in two volumes. Those added from 1835 to 
1844 were embraced in the First Supplement, and those from 1844 to 
1849 in the Second Supplement. 

The great Catalogue of 1835 was arranged, according to subjects, 
into the usual five grand divisions of Eeligion, Jurisprudence, Sciences 
and Arts, Belles Lettres, and History. These chief heads were sub- 
divided with considerable minuteness, each subdivision being ar- 



LIBEAEIANS' CONVENTION 1853 51 

ranged alphabetically by authors' names, and anonymous books being 
placed at the end. Of the remarkable accuracy and judgment (indi- 
cating extensive acquirements in the compiler) with which the titles 
of books are classified in this Catalogue, I cannot forbear speaking. 
It is the work of George Campbell, Esq., from 1806 to 1829 the 
Librarian of the Institution, and still, I am happy to say, its Secre- 
tary. 

' ' Thank God for the makers of dictionaries ! " a pious Oxford stu- 
dent was overheard to ejaculate; and I think, gentlemen, those who 
use the collections under our care have reason to be equally grateful 
that there are such persons as the makers of catalogues. 

But however admirable may be the arrangement of a Systematic 
Catalogue, it constantly happens that those who use it are at a loss 
under what head to look for a particular work. An alphabetical 
Index, therefore, especially of authors' names, becomes necessary; 
and such an Index, but partial and so incomplete as not to be de- 
pended on, was extemporised as the Catalogue of 1835 was going 
through the press, and added to it as an Appendix. The Supple- 
ments of 1844 and 1849 are totally destitute of such an index. To 
make sure that a book is" not in the Philadelphia Library, it is neces- 
sary, therefore, to look through three Catalogues; and if, as con- 
stantly happens, it is doubtful under what head a book would fall, 
or, again, if the title of a book is known, but not the author's name, 
the search is a very tedious one, and sometimes hopeless. 

To remedy these evils, I conceived the following plan, viz.: to con- 
solidate the two Supplements, together with the MS. list of works 
added since 1849, into one Catalogue, classified like that of 1835, and 
to be called vol. 3, the paging to run on continuously from vol. 2, 
which itself follows that of vol. 1. It is not proposed to consolidate 
the whole into one complete Catalogue, on account of the expense, 
which would be about $5,000. But most of the advantages of such 
a consolidation, together with some others not attainable by that 
process, will be secured by an alphabetical INDEX to the whole, on 
which I have been now more than two years engaged. 

In making this Index the plan is, to take for a basis the present 
imperfect Index to the Catalogue of 1835, and going over each title 
again in that Catalogue. 

I. To examine whether the author's name (if any) is already in- 
dexed, if not, to index it on a slip of paper, adding a short title of 
the book and the page of the Catalogue on which it is to be found. 



52 LIBRARIANS ' CONVENTION 1853 

II. To index the translators' and annotators' names. 

III. To take the most important word or words of the title, and 
index it by them, as well as, in some cases, by some other word more 
likely to be referred to as the subject. 

It will sometimes happen, therefore, that, on this plan, a book will 
be indexed five or six times, or even more : e. g., ' i 6,411, O. The Spy 
Unmasked; or, Memoirs of Enoch Crosby, alias Harvey Birch, com- 
prising many interesting anecdotes never before published. By 
H. L. Barnum. New York, 1828." 

This work (like all biography, poetry, and sermons) is not at pres- 
ent indexed at all. By the plan proposed it will be found under either 
of the following references: 

PAGE 

Barnum, H. L. Spy Unmasked 924 

Spy, Unmasked 924 

Crosby, E., Memoirs of 924 

Birch, H., Memoirs of 924 

Again, take the folowing title: 

"2,112, D. A History of Three of the Judges of King Charles the 
First, Major General Whalley, General Goffe, and Colonel Dixwell, 
who, at the restoration in 1660, fled to America, and were concealed in 
Massachusetts and Connecticut for near thirty years; with an account 
of Mr. Theophilus Whale, supposed also to have been one of the 
Judges. By President Stiles. Hartford, 1794." 

Here, besides the proper names Stiles, Whalley, Goffe, Dixwell, and 
Whale, I would index the word Regicides, under which, though it 
does not occur on the title-page, the book is likely to be looked for. 

In a word, my system amounts to a copious multiplication of cross 
references. 

For using the Index, therefore, the following simple rule will be 
prefixed to it. "If the author's, translator's, or annotator's name 
is known, turn to it. If the title only of a book is known, and not 
the author's name, or if it is anonymous, turn to the most important 
word, preferring of two words equally important that which stands 
first in the title. Otherwise, turn to the subject. 

"Having found a book in this Index, the number in the outer 
column indicates that page in the Catalogue, to which turn in order 
to find the full title of the work, together with its number and size, 
which latter indicates to the Librarian its position on the shelves. ' ' 

I flatter myself that when this plan is carried out, the Library 



LIBRARIANS' CONVENTION 1853 53 

Company of Philadelphia will possess a Catalogue unsurpassed for 
facility of reference by any in the world. 

The labor of Indexing the larger Catalogue of 1835 is nearly com- 
pleted. It remains to consolidate the titles of books added since 1835 
into a third volume, classified on the same plan as vols. 1 and 2, to 
index this third vol., and finally to arrange the whole Index matter 
alphabetically to form an Appendix. Volume 3, therefore, and Index, 
will probably be published about January, 1855. 

INTERNATIONAL EXCHANGES 

The following communication, from Mons. Vattemare, 
was laid before the Convention by Mr. C. B. Norton : 

PARIS, August 22, 1853. 

DEAR SIR: I take this opportunity to send you the accompanying 
series of tables, submitted some months ago to the Emperor, and pre- 
pared by order of his majesty. 

The whole of my system is there; its origin and progress, and the 
results obtained up to the year 1853. 

But since these tables were presented to the Emperor, the Ex- 
changes have considerably increased. Yet the above statement will 
give you an idea of what the result will be, the moment the system 
shall have been universally adopted and established upon a large and 
permanent basis; above all, when you consider what has been accom- 
plished by so humble an individual as myself. 

What I aim at is, the establishment of a regular and permanent 
system of exchange between governments, of not only the useless 
duplicates of their public libraries, but everything emanating from 
the genius of a nation, so as to form, in the Capitals of the civilized 
nations, public international libraries that would become a permanent 
exhibition of the intellectual power of each of them, a lasting World's 
Fair of the genius of nations. Hence, my constant and humble re- 
quest has always been while addressing myself to the government of 
your noble country, "whenever you shall be in want of a European 
book, buy an American ; " in Europe I make the same invitation. 
Let us have a central agency on each Continent, which shall be in 
connection with each other to negotiate these exchanges; let us have 
a monthly publication in English, French, and German, which shall 
publish the proceedings of the agency, and the titles of the books or 
objects exchanged, or to be exchanged. Would not such a plan power- 



54 LIBRARIANS ' CONVENTION 1853 

fully contribute to the diffusion of knowledge and international good- 
will, and to the realization of the republic of letters, the peaceful 
confederation of republics, kingdoms, and empires? Could a greater 
assistance be given to the Book Trade than the adoption of such a 
plan? 

The political events that have transpired since 1847, have brought a 
temporary prejudice to my system. On my return from America, I 
found the administration almost entirely renewed. I have had to do 
with officers entirely unacquainted with my mission, and uninterrupted 
changes and alterations in the different ministerial departments have 
rendered my task very difficult and extremely laborious. This is one 
only of the causes why the results have not been exactly what they 
promised to be when I left France for my mission to the United 
States; but a little patience, and things will take their proper course. 
The moment there shall be the slightest relaxation in the political 
excitement, attention will be immediately turned towards our system. 

You know what Prince Napoleon said in your presence: that twice 
already he had had about our system a conversation with the Em- 
peror, who told him that he appreciated the system most highly, and 
was only waiting for a moment of leisure to examine it thoroughly, 
and devise the means of realizing it. 

Meanwhile, the Minister of Public Instruction, on the proposal of 
his colleague, the Minister of Public Works, has addressed a circular 
letter to the other members of the Cabinet, inviting them to form a 
kind of association to give to the system all the support it deserves. 
But before giving an official answer to this proposal, a general in- 
vestigation is now taking place in all the departments, the public 
libraries, museums, &c., to ascertain what has already been received, 
and the results to be anticipated from the system. 

The Minister of Public Instruction told me, some time ago, that 
this system would be of no value to the world, unless it be established 
upon a large scale; that, heretofore, all I had done, although very 
considerable, was a mere gleaning. 

As for our American collection, you know, likewise, the opinion of 
Prince Napoleon, who considers it as "a great monument to the 
genius of a great people, and of its friendly feeling towards France, ' ' 
He thinks, also, that the place now ready to receive it, in the building 
of the Chamber of Commerce, is not becoming its importance, and he 
told me, in your presence, that he would himself see the new Prefect, 
to manage that matter with him to the honor of America and the 



LIBKARIANS' CONVENTION 1853 55 

gratification of the public. The projected arrangement is to give to 
each State a certain number of alcoves or shelves, in accordance with 
its intellectual riches and liberality, each one severally distinguished 
with its coat of arms and date of incorporation. 

As for the system, it is gaining ground rapidly in Europe. By a 
letter dated St. Petersburg, 29th July last, received the same day I 
had the pleasure of seeing you, His Excellency the Baron de Korff, 
Counsellor of State, and Director of the Imperial Library of St. 
Petersburg, acknowledging the receipt of the Natural History of the 
State of New York, informs me that, after mature consideration, 
convinced of the important services our system of exchange is likely 
to render, he sends me the list of a series of most valuable duplicates 
of incunabula in the Imperial Library, to be placed at my disposal. 
The Danish Government has also presented, through its minister here, 
a list of splendid ancient works. The librarians of some of the cele- 
brated Universities of Germany have made similar communications. 
I am waiting with the greatest anxiety for the official answer of the 
French administration, to be able to begin the publication of our 
Bulletin of international exchanges, to publish all those lists of most 
valuable works. 

You have seen the fine series of ancient and modern books they were 
selecting for me at the Imperial Library. The little time you spent 
in my office was yet sufficient to give you an idea of what may be 
obtained from our system. You saw all the nations side by side, re- 
publicans and imperialists holding each other by the hand to help 
the realization of our great and peaceful Kepublic of Letters. 

Let me close this letter by expressing my grateful acknowledgment 
towards the States and institutions of the Union, that have so readily 
and so nobly given a helping hand to my efforts, and tell them that, in 
my conviction, the time is not distant when they will reap the advan- 
tages of that generous and persevering support; that the little that 
has been done to this time is only the earnest of what is yet to 
come. As for the private individuals who have seconded my labors, 
the number is too great to mention them here, and they have already 
found in their conscience and patriotism the reward of their acts. 

Yet allow me to mention one of them. I consider it to be my duty 
to name particularly, in order to express to him my sincerest gratitude 
for his constant and unrelaxed attention to our interests. I refer to 
Mr. E. Irving, of the Sample Office, New York. This gentleman, 
since my departure from America to the present time, has generously 



56 LIBEAEIANS ' CONVENTION 1853 

devoted his time, energies, and labors as agent, to receive and trans- 
mit the objects exchanged between our two Continents, without receiv- 
ing the slightest compensation. 

I would feel most happy, dear sir, if the Convention of American 
Librarians should consider the tables here annexed worthy of their 
attention, and I will be very thankful to you, if you will be kind 
enough to communicate to me their opinion. Have the kindness to 
say to these learned gentlemen, how happy I would have been to have 
found myself among so many distinguished savants, many of whom 
have shown themselves so benevolent to me, and in a country whose 
generous and fraternal hospitality I shall never forget. 

Eemain assured, dear sir, of the sentiments of esteem and friend- 
ship of your devoted friend, ALEXANDEE VATTEMARE. 
Mr. C. B. Norton. 

List of establishments which have participated in the 
benefits of the system of exchanges: 



University of Heidelberg. 

BELGIUM 

All the Ministerial Departments. 
King's Library. 
Eoyal Library. 
Koyal Academy of Science. 
City of Brussels. 
City of Antwerp. 
City of Liege. 
Geographical establishment of Brussels. 

THE NETHERLANDS 

All the Ministerial Departments. 

King's Library. 

Royal Library. 

Library of the General States. 

University of Leyden. 

Chamber of Commerce of Rotterdam. 

Chamber of Commerce of Amsterdam. 

FRANCE 

All the Ministerial Departments. 
Chamber of Peers (Senate). 



LIBBABIANS' CONVENTION 1853 57 

Chamber of Deputies (Legislative Body). 

Post-office. 

Court of Cassation. 

Court of Accounts. 

Imperial Academy of Science. 

Imperial Academy Moral and Political Sciences. 

Imperial Academy of Medicine. 

Imperial Museum of Natural History. 

School of Mines. 

School of Fonts et Chausses. 

Normal School. 

Geographical Society. 

Asiatic Society. 

Agricultural Society. 

Horticultural Society. 

Geological Society. 

Society of Encouragement. 

Imperial Library. 

Library of the Louvre. 

Library of the Sorbonne. 

Private Library of the Emperor. 

Imperial Printing House. 

City of Paris. 

City of Bordeaux. 

City of Marseilles. 

City of Metz. 

City of Nantes. 

City of Havre. 

City of Kouen. 

RUSSIA 

Imperial Academy. 
Imperial Library. 
Imperial Botanical Garden. 

WUKTEMBERG 

University of Tubingen. 

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 

All the Departments of the Federal Government. 
The Presidential Eesidence. 
Library of Congress. 



58 LIBRARIANS' CONVENTION 1853 

Patent Office. 

Office of Topographical Engineers. 

U. S. Military Academy, West Point. 

U. S. Naval Academy, Annapolis. 

National Observatory, Washington. 

Supreme Court of the United States. 

National Institute. 

Military Academy of South Carolina. 

Academy of Science and Art, Boston. 

National Academy of Design of New York. 

Institute of Albany (N. Y.). 

American Institute of New York. 

Mechanics' Institute, New York. 

University of Georgetown (D. C.). 

University of Hanover (N. H.). 

University Harvard (Mass.). 

University Maryland. 

College of Brunswick (Me.). 

College of Waterville (Me.). 

College of Burlington (Vt.). 

College of New Haven (Ct.). 

College of Columbia (N. Y.). 

College of Geneva (N. Y.). 

College of Kutgers (N. J.). 

College of Annapolis (Md.). 

College of Charlotteville (Va.). 

College of Chapel Hill (N. C.). 

College of Ann Harbor (Mich.). 

Brown University, Providence (B. I.). 

Union College (N. Y.). 

Society of Natural History of Portland (Me.). 

Society of Natural History of Boston. 

Society of Natural History of St. Louis (Mo.). 

Mercantile Library of Boston. 

Mercantile Library of New York. 

Mercantile Library of Springfield. 

Agricultural Society of Massachusetts. 

Agricultural Society of Boston. 

Agricultural Society of Wilmington (Del.). 



LIBRARIANS' CONVENTION 1853 59 

Apprentices Library of South Carolina. 

Historical Society of Brunswick (Me.). 

Historical Society of Boston. 

Historical Society of Worcester (Mass.). 

Historical Society of Hartford (Ct.). 

Historical Society of New York. 

Historical Society of Trenton (N. J.). 

Historical Society of Baltimore. 

Historical Society of Richmond (Va.). 

Historical Society of Savannah (Ga.). 

Historical Society of Upper Alton (111.). 

Historical Society of St. Louis (Mo.). 

Historical Society of Louisville (Ky.). 

City of Washington (D. C.). 

City of Bangor (Me.). 

City of Portland (Me.). 

City of Boston. 

City of Lowell (Mass.). 

City of New York. 

City of Albany (N. Y.). 

City of Philadelphia (Pa.). 

City of Baltimore (Md.). 

City of Trenton (N. J.). 

City of Hartford (Ct.). 

City of Burlington (Vt.). 

City of Providence (E. I.). 

City of Eichmond (Va.). 

City of Ealeigh (N. C.). 

City of Charleston (S. C.). 

City of New Orleans (La.). 

City of Savannah (Ga.). 

City of Indianapolis (la.). 

Chronological table of official acts, documents, etc., by 
which several Governments have accepted the principle or 
regulated the application of the system of exchange, from 
1832 to 1853 : 

January 22, 1832. Letter from M. Lichsenthaler, Director of the 
Eoyal Library of Munich. 



60 



LIBRARIANS' CONVENTION 1853 



December 6, 1833. 
January 27, 1834. 

January 27, 1834. 
August 1, 1836. 

March 6, 1836. 
March 26, 1836. 

December 5, 1837. 
May 5, 1838. 

February 2, 1839. 

February 17, 1840. 

March 26, 1840. 

May 7, 1840. 

July 17, 1840. 



February 6, 1841. 
March 14, 1841. 



Letter from Count Maurice Diedrichstein, Di- 
rector of the Imperial Museum and Library 
of Vienna. 

Letter from Count Charles de Bruhl, superin- 
tendent general of the Museum at Berlin, in 
the name of the King. 

Letter from M. Hahn, in the name of the King 
of Denmark. 

Letter from Mr. Alexander Mordwinoff, for 
General Count de Benkendorff, in the name 
of the Emperor of Eussia. 

My first petition is reported, approved and re- 
ferred to the Minister of Public Instruction 
by the Chamber of Deputies. 

Same reception by the Chamber of Peers, 
who refer it to the Ministers of the Interior 
and Public Instruction. 

Letter from Mr. Glover, librarian to the Queen 
of England, in the name of her majesty. 

The British Parliament receives favorably my 
petition; the British Museum authorized to 
open intercourse of exchanges with foreign 
establishments. 

My second petition reported, approved and re- 
ferred by the two French Chambers, to the 
Minister of Public Instruction and the 
President of the Council of Ministers. 

Deliberation of the Royal Patriotic Society of 
Havana adopting the system of exchange. 

Vote of $3,000, for international exchanges, 
by the Senate of Louisiana. 

Senate of New York approves the system of 
exchange. 

Bill of Congress, authorizing the exchanges of 
50 extra copies of every document printed 
by Congress, to be printed and bound for 
that purpose. 

Sanction of the Governor General of Canada. 

Bill of the Legislature of the State of Maine, 
50 extra copies of documents are to be 



LIBRABIANS' CONVENTION 1853 61 

printed and bound for international ex- 
changes. 

April 9, 1842. My third petition is reported, approved and 

referred, by the Chamber of Deputies, to 
the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Interior 
and Public Instruction. 

April 29, 1842. Same reception by the Chamber of Peers, as 
above, and referred to the same ministers. 

December 21, 1842. Deliberation of the Municipal Council of Paris. 
1847. Appropriation of 3,000 fr., for international 
exchanges, voted to the Department of Pub- 
lic Instruction. 

1847. Appropriation of a similar sum to the commit- 
tee on the library of the Chambers of 
Deputies. 

June 26, 1848. Bill of Congress. 

June 30, 1848. Another bill of Congress of the United States, 
sanctioning the bill of 1840, and granting 
an appropriation to help on the system. 

July 25, 1848. Eesolutions of the Committee on the Library 

of Congress, in relation to the same. 

April 1850. Presentation of several objects of exchanges to 

the Chambers of Chili, through A. Vatte- 
mare's agency. 

April 1852. Decision from the Minister of the Interior of 

the Netherlands, appointing A. Vattemare 
agent of the kingdom. 

May 1852. Decision of the Minister of Finance of Belgium. 

July 29, 1853. Letter from his Excellency, Baron de Korff, 

member of the Imperial Privy Council, Di- 
rector of the Public Library of St. Peters- 
burg. 

July 15, 1853. Letter and programme from the central com- 

mittee for international exchange, appointed 
by the Minister of the Interior. 

Seventeen States of the Union have adopted similar laws 
to that of Congress, viz. : Maine, March, 1841-44-48 ; Mary- 
land, March, 1842; Indiana, January, 1844-48; Michigan, 
March, 1844-48; Massachusetts, February, 1845-49-50; 



62 



LIBKABIANS' CONVENTION 1853 



Rhode Island, January, 1846; New York, October, 1847; 
Vermont, November, 1847; New Jersey, January, 1848; 
Pennsylvania, August, 1848; Virginia, September, 1848; 
South Carolina, December, 1848 ; New Hampshire, January, 
1849; North Carolina, January, 1849; Delaware, March, 
1849 ; Connecticut, May, 1849 ; Florida, October, 1850, and 
January, 1853. 

Table of the operation of the system of exchanges, from 
1847 to 1851, inclusive: 



Received by 


Books and 
Pamphlets 


Maps and 
Plans 


Engrav- 
ings 


Medals 
and Coins 


The United States of America 
France 


30,655 
25,092 


1,067 
1,318 


807 
220 


1,288 
565 


Foreign Governments 


5,264 


711 




30 













Total amounts I 61,011 I 3,096 I 1,0271 1,883 

To the above must be added, as received and distributed : 
From France, the collection of weights and measures of 
France, 173 prepared birds, several cases of minerals, fos- 
sils, and seeds. 

From the United States, the collection of weights and 
measures of the U. S. ; six models of vessels and three of 
dry docks; samples of the manufactures of Lowell, living 
animals, prepared birds, minerals, specimens of woods, 
seeds, the plaster cast of the head of a mastodon, fossils, 
a large specimen of oxydulated iron from the Iron Moun- 
tains of Missouri. 

PERMANENT ORGANIZATION 

The following resolutions were presented by Mr. GUILD, 
and unanimously adopted : 

Kesolved, That this Convention be regarded as preliminary to the 
formation of a permanent Librarians' Association. 

Eesolved, That a Committee of five be appointed to draft a Consti- 



LIBBAEIANS' CONVENTION 1853 63 

tution and By-Laws for such an Association, and present them at the 
next meeting of the Convention. 

Besolved, That when this Convention adjourn, it adjourn to meet in 
Washington City at such a time as the said Committee of five may 
appoint. 

Eesolved, That this Committee be requested, with reference to this 
adjourned meeting, to suggest topics for written communications or 
free discussion, and also to make such other arrangements as shall, 
in their judgment, be best adapted to meet the wants of the public, 
in regard to the whole subject of Libraries and library economy. 

In accordance with these resolutions, the following gen- 
tlemen were appointed on the Committee for Permanent 
Organization: Prof. C. C. Jewett, of Washington; Mr. 
Chas. Folsom, of Boston ; S. Hastings Grant, of New York ; 
Elijah Hayward, of Ohio, and R. A. Guild, of Providence. 

At the close of these deliberations the Convention ad- 
journed, to meet in "Washington, upon the call of the above 
Committee. 






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